Picture of 3D Printed Digital Camera

This is a 3D printed digital camera that you can build yourself. By making your own digital camera, it takes away some of the mystery around how such devices work, and are fabricated. Also, it allows you to fully customize the camera to your liking. You can expand the circuit to have new functionality, or design your own custom case by modifying the 123D Design build files.

While this may not be a high-resolution digital camera, it is nonetheless very rewarding. This camera allows you to not only build a tool, but be creative with it. Being that this iteration of the camera does not have a screen to preview the pictures, it operates a little bit like a traditional film camera in that you don't immediately know what the pictures look like. This adds a bit of surprise and excitement when the pictures are finally transferred to the computer from your SD card and you see what has transpired. In the age of immediate gratification, slowing down the creative process adds a bit of magic and mystery to the whole endeavor. In fact, all of the camera's imperfections and digital glitches give the pictures taken their own unique character. For all of these reasons and more, this camera is a ton of fun to shoot pictures with.

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

Picture of Go Get Stuff
You will need:

(x1) Files for 3D Printing (see attached)
(x1) Radioshack JPEG Color Camera Board (Radioshack #276-248)
(x1) Seeed INT106D1P SD shield (Radioshack #276-243)
(x1) Arduino Uno REV 3 (Radioshack #276-148)
(x1) SD card (radioshack #44-188)
(x1) Round PCB Kit (Radioshack #276-004)
(x1) SPST Tactile Switch (Radioshack #275-002)
(x1) Misc. Heat Shrink Tubing (Radioshack #278-1610)
(x1) 9V battery snap (Radioshack #270-324)
(x1) 9V battery (Radioshack #23-853)
(x8) 1/4" x 4-40 bolts
KeatonV7 months ago

the code that is in the directions will not upload to my arduino

could you make it with smaller parts like the Arduino Nano?

LaurenS49 months ago

Is it necessary that I solder the pieces together? I am borrowing an Arduino board and have to return it.

rh101 year ago

The instructions have inconsistencies. One of which includes you saying to solder a wire to one place, and then say to do it with another wire and on that step, the previous wire is missing. It's confusing and I need to finish this soon.

techmind481 year ago
This is easy to follow step by step guide. Thank the author for this excellent report. AS.Bhasker Raj Bangalore India
I wonder if you could make the housing waterproof.
agis681 year ago
well done...how much did you cost you the whole project to compare with store prices of a ready camera (short of)
RAULRO1 year ago
Klappstuhl1 year ago
Now who's going to modify this into a stereoscopic camera first? :D
redsunmtm1 year ago
i have a name for it: GoAmateur :) some data moshing picts are fun too !
Raphango1 year ago
Amazing man! Congratulations!
Very well built instructable, excelent step-by-step images and detailed instructions! Gotta build me one some day! ;D Keep up the good work! Congrats again!
That just seems odd to me. Digitally printing an actual camera. When the digital printer can make all the parts, like the replicator in Star Trek, then we'll really have something. LOL
the one thing i would find to be really awesome about this project is if there was a way to make this camera have a small index card printer inside of it. That way it becomes an instant digital camera that doesnt cost a crapton of money for the camera and the *ahem* "film".
Smallest printer I know of: http://www.adafruit.com/products/597
doncrush1 year ago
Total cost of purchased components? I would like to make my own trail cam (wildlife motion activated)...that would be a fairly easy change by replacing tactile switch with a PIR, PING, or some motion activated input.
randofo (author)  doncrush1 year ago
About $100 ballpark.
Lindie1 year ago
Looks like fun! Great idea. Boy would I like to have one of these! :-)
Paulbacca1 year ago
The low resolution pictures are by no means amazing, and the camera housing a bit clunky but this is an great instructable that has now set the standard for future digital camera projects! I take delivery of my Rigidbot 3D printer soon and will not waste time with my first 3D printed instructable. Out of interest, what 3D printer did you use?
darman121 year ago
Pretty neat! It reminds me of old film cameras, you can't see the picture until you get home ;)
bob30301 year ago
Great instructable. In my opinion this is the type of project in the true "maker" spirit. As you noted people used to make their own "pinhole" cameras. This instructable allows someone to make a modern version of one. Thank you for posting.