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February 28, 2013 AT 9:00 am

3D Printed Canon Flash Diffusers #3dthursday

FlashDiffuser

Here’s a great piece of 3D printed camera gear shared by Eric Chu at MAKE for their #3dthursday series:

I made a flash diffuser for the Canon Speedlight 580EX II after seeing our photo intern taping a piece of paper to his flash to act as a light bounce. His paper bounce didn’t last more than a few days of project photography in the extreme conditions of our lab, so after seeing him repeatedly throw them into the recycling bin, I decided to make him a durable 3D printed diffuser. After talking to him to learn more about what shapes make a good diffuser, I modeled it in Autodesk Inventor and 3D printed them on an Ultimaker in clear PLA, a biodegradable, corn-based plastic.

I started out with the rectangular version to test the fit, and got very lucky since it fitted the flash snugly. After I knew that the fit was good, I made the triangular version, which maximizes surface area for greater light diffusion.

Both versions of the diffuser were printed using the Joris setting in Cura, which allows the part to be printed out in a gradual spiral. Even with just one wall, the part’s quite strong, since there’s no seam running along the side of the part.

A challenge I ran into while modeling the diffuser was that the body of the flash was not just a simple rectangle (it actually consists of a lot of curves), so I couldn’t easily or accurately measure the dimensions of it. This meant that I couldn’t make the diffuser that would perfectly contour around it. Instead, I settled on measuring the max width, length, height, a small curve on the front, and the two grooves on the sides of the flash, to allow the diffuser to slide up or down.

They’ve been holding up even after over a month of daily use and work very well for taking photos that end up online or in our magazine. The files and printing instructions are available for download on Thingiverse here.

Read more.


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Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!


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