So I’ve been posting pics of prints on Twitter. It’s been fun and it can be a bit like a teenager discovering Snapchat or Instagram for the first time. Highly addicting. I’m guessing my middleageness is showing here… teenagers are probably on to something much more exciting that it will take another decade in technology years for me to catch on to. That being said, I was excited to see my tweets garnering as many views and image clicks in a single night as my entire website might in a month. I’ve been printing miniature versions of some of my favorite objects and sharing them. There’s a lot of noise out there in Twitterland so hopefully I’m not contributing to the pollution.
Which leads me to not posting lately. My big project for the summer was the TerraPin 120 Film Pinhole Camera by Schlem I found on Thingiverse. Not only is it a thing of beauty, but it brings me to a time where my father was using an old Mamiya, I think rb67, Medium format camera when film wasn’t a novelty… it was new technology. And a photo wasn’t something you clicked away at 120 times to get a good shot. You framed and planned a good shot like an artist painting a portrait. Again, my middleageness is showing here. I no longer relate to the world by what is cool… I reminiscee for the coolness of the past. throughout my life, my father would share stories of the work he did pursuing a degree in commercial art, his graduate studies, the creative projects and people he met. One of the things always in the back of my mind… he made pinhole cameras from boxes as part of his college studies. So when I saw Schlem’s camera… I had to make one. Schlem’s pics have a quality of the candid shots from the 70s that can’t be recreated by running a photoshop filter (for you teenagers - an app like 8mm Vintage Camera on your iphone ).
So here’s my rundown. To date, I have worked extensively calibrating my Lulzbot Taz 5. I actually get some really great, highly detailed art pieces.
Here’s a few of the shots I’ve posted on Twitter recently - these only have support removed with almost no cleanup:
So as far as quality prints go I think I’m getting there.
Then there’s fit. I have tried numerous calibration prints that are supposed to be the be-all-end-all of part fitting. I have used slic3r, Cura, Mattercontrol… but all with what I would call average at best results. I need to sand, grind, force my fitted parts to get anywhere. And I always thought it was me. I have perimeter prints perfect, esteps are still at the factory setting and when tested, as close as my eye can see. There’s only one print I’ve done where everything fit perfectly…
…And then there was Schlem
I have been printing extremely slow because, I believed through my engorging of online 3d printing advice, slower is better. But it never worked on any of my calibration pieces for fitted parts. My wife would tell you I want perfection. And I do, I admit that. So I took the risk of printing Schlem’s TerraPin 120 Film Pinhole Camera and low and behold… It fits. And I don’t mean good enough. Every part fit as designed - as though he added tolerances to the design just for 3d printing. Go figure.
The only reason I haven’t set this beauty up and shot photography yet… I could not find a red piece of plastic for the view hole at any hobby shops, camera shops or big box retailers in the St. Louis Metro area to save my life. I finally ordered some gel sheets on amazon. I also have the problem that no camera shops have 120 film spools to spare. A guy told me today that most of his customers request their spools back after the film is developed. So time to print a spool until I get a few rolls under my belt.
I had planned to post sometime this week in the evening while I was traveling to New Jersey for work, but I decided since Schlem posted comments on my site and asked if I needed assistance, the least I could do is praise him for the excellent modeling/engineering he did.
Once I get a roll of film under my belt, I’ll post the pics and start working on printing all Schlem’s pinhole cameras.
Here’s Schlem’s Twitterness if you’re interested in his blow-by-blow pinhole adventures: https://twitter.com/theschlem