3D printed pinhole camera

by Simi Fernezelyi April 21, 2020 #DIY #3D print

Creative Commons License


Hi! Here are the instructions for this 3D printed 35mm pinhole camera I've been working on in the last couple of weeks. If you can access a 3D printer and have a couple of bucks you should be able to create this superb camera and hopefully take wonderful pictures with it. Have fun!


For the 3D printing

First of all, you'll need a 3D printer. I was using a 500$ FDM machine, but really, anything will do the job. For the printing material I would suggest that you use PET-G or ABS (as they are more tough), but if your camera doesn't sit in the sun for hours PLA will also do the work.

Other stuff

  • Standard camera mount nut (1/4") [link]
  • Neodym cylinder magnets (10 pcs): diameter 3 mm, height 3 mm [link]
  • Tiny sprit level: 12 mm x 6 mm [link]
  • Laser drilled pinhole: hole diameter 0.2 mm, full diameter 14mm [link]
  • Some kind of glue (I used epoxy) [link]
  • Step 1 - Print the parts

    Print all the parts this .zip file contains. In general I used a 0.1 mm layer height and a 20% infill and it turned out to be pretty nice. The "front", the "back", the "shutter" and the "shutter holder" should be printed with black (or other dark colored) material. The rest depends on your taste.

    Step 2 - Glueing

    Glue the magnets in their holes on the "front" and "back" parts. It's important to pay attention to the directon (polarity) of the magnets so the two parts will magnetize each other and the camera closes properly. You also have to glue the "shutter holder" in the "front" part, with the "shutter" behind it and finally the spirit level and the "ratchet" at the top and the nut at the bottom.

    Step 3 - Inserting the film

    Cut the end of the 35mm film (preferably high ISO) and insert it into an empty spool. If needed, secure it with a piece of tape. Then place the take-up spool into the right and the rollfilm into the left film compartment. Insert the winder (the one with the ratchet teeth) and the rewinder knob from the top and close the back of the camera. Before the first picture advance the film so you hear at least 15 clicks!

    Step 4 - First picture

    Find the right place

    To take a picture you will need a sunny environment. Place your camera onto a stand or a steady surface.

    Measure the light

    The f-number of this camera is f150. There are many good applicatons [iOS, Android] to measure light but most of them can't calculate explosure time for f150. Set the application for f16 and check the f15 value at this table.

    Take your shot

    For the explosure simply open the shutter and close it after the desired time. After each shot advance the film with 12 clicks. Here are some picures I took for the first time.