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The light tent is the most convenient solution for making professional photos of a wide range of products: by placing products in the tent and illuminating the tent from the outside, you obtain the best exposure for professional product photos.

I wanted my own foldable and portable light tent with the extra comfort of having its own build in lighting.

Benefits:

  • Build in lighting

  • Prevents reflections

  • Seamless transition from background to foreground

  • Simple camera is sufficient.

  • Foldable and easy to use.

  • Ideal for small product photography for your shop, marketplace, ... 

Overall a fun project to build with good results. The costs can vary between 40 and 80 dollars depending on how much materials you already have at home.

 
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Step 1: Materials and tools

Picture of Materials and tools

Materials needed

  • MDF sheets
  • 4 Drawer gliders
  • wooden stick
  • round wooden stick 16 mm
  • drawer handle
  • flat rope
  • aluminum tube 18 mm
  • plastic tubes
  • electric cables
  • solder
  • electric tape
  • four lamp sockets
  • thick ground cables
  • 16 mm thick ground cable
  • power plug
  • block connector
  • screws
  • cotton sheet

Tools needed

  • jig saw
  • screw driver
  • drill bit 6 mm, 18 mm
  • drill
  • glue clamps
  • wood glue
  • solder iron
  • sewing machine

Step 2: Sawing

Picture of Sawing
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Saw three pieces 55 by 55 cm out of MDF.

Saw six pieces 55 by 9 cm out of MDF.

Saw four pieces 54 by 2 cm out of MDF

 

Saw four 9 cm pieces off the aluminum tube.

Saw four 30 cm pieces off the wooden stick.

Saw four 50 cm pieces off the round wooden stick.

Step 3: Gluing and drilling

Picture of Gluing and drilling
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Take a 55 by 9 cm piece drill the holes for the handle.

Take four  55 by 9 cm pieces and drill a 18 mm hole in the center of each piece (for the wires to run through). 

Take a 55 by 55 cm piece. Measure 4 cm from a side and draw a straight line to the opposite side (this will be the back side). Divide the remaining 51 cm in 5 equal parts.

Glue all the 55 by 9 cm pieces on the markings. Place the piece with the holes for the handle on the front side, the pieces with the cable holes in the middle and the blank piece on the back.

Glue the 54 by 2 cm pieces on the sides of a 55 by 55 cm piece (upright). Drill a 18 mm hole in the inner corners of the square. Put the 9 cm aluminum tubes through these holes.

Step 4: Lamp glider

Screw the drawer gliders onto the pieces with the cable holes. The first on the left side, the next on the right, then again on the left and the last on the right.

Screw the 30 cm wooden sticks on the drawer gliders.

Now you need four 70 cm plastic tubes, four 70 cm ground cables, electrical cables with switch and four lamp sockets.

Put the ground cable and the electrical cable through the plastic tube. Connect the lamp socket to the electrical cable with solder. Use electrical tape to secure the connections.

Screw the tubing to the wooden stick on the drawer glider.

Repeat this process three times.


Step 5: Connect wires

Picture of Connect wires

Take a cable with a power-plug and connect it to a block connector. Connect each lamp cable to the block connector. Each lamp cable should be long enough for the glider to operate correctly.

Step 6: Putting the box together

Picture of Putting the box together
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Glue the piece with the aluminum tubes on top of finished piece with the drawer gliders.

Take the last 55 by 55 cm piece and lay it on top. Attach with flat rope at the back side with nails, glue or screws. Install a lock at the front side.

Step 7: Sewing

Picture of Sewing

In good spirits I started the sewing part but I terribly failed.

So I asked my mother in law to do the sewing part for me.

The measurements of the tent are 53 cm by 53 cm by 41 cm.

There are some great instructables that can give guidelines if you want to sew a light tent. It is very similar to sewing a cube; but without the front side and with a loop around the sticks to hold the tent in place.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Learn-to-Sew-1/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Companion-Sitting-Cube/step3/Covering-the-Cube/ 
http://www.instructables.com/id/Sewing-a-perfect-3-D-corner-for-a-cube/


 

Step 8: Finish

Picture of finish
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1. Expand the light tent and lit it

 2. Place the object in the tent

 3. Make your pictures!

 

Enjoy!

Very nice - I love how portable it is!
Not just portable, but the fact that it folds down to a suitcase! Genius! :D