3D printing could be the photographer’s savior. These clever devices print from 3d map files using resin or powder that’s built up in layers to form complex shaped objects. These printers cost thousands of pounds a few years ago, but now you can pick up a home printer such as the CTC 3D Printer (below) on eBay for less than £600.
And as the popularity increase so does the resources to help you print.
For most the biggest stumbling block will be the design and creation of a 3D printable file, but help is at hand – online specialist forums are growing where members share plans. There’s even a special site called thingverse.com where projects are posted along with photos, illustrations, plans and tips from the creators.
Photographers will benefit because you may have lost a cap or cover for your camera or lens, need an adaptor to convert from one lens fit to another, or a bracket to hold a flash or accessory. All these, and things that have never been invented, can be printed.
Here at PhotographyAttic we hold stock of many obscure camera accessories and photography items that haven’t been manufactured for decades. Our stocks are limited, but the 3d printer will provide an alternative .
There are brackets for go-pro cameras, stands for taking mobile phone selfies and even cameras such as this 120 format pinhole camera
The current cost is still too high for many of us, but prices will inevitably fall and I bet it wont be long before the 3D printer is under £300 and many households will be printing replacement remote control battery covers, parts for toys, ornaments etc. And photographers will become part time inventors. The future is interesting!