Camera Aid D4E1




Introduction: Camera Aid D4E1

About: I'm a industrial design student at Howest University, Kortrijk.


Let me introduce ourselves.

We are a team of industrial product design students at Howest University in Kortrijk, Belgium. For our CAD course we needed to do a redesign of an D4E1 (Design For EveryOne) project. The redesign means that we optimize the design to produce different usseable products for different users. All this needs to be produced with advanced manufacturing techniques.

The project in question is find here:

For our redesign we made this instructables to show you step by step how you can make this camera aid from measuring the camera up to the assembly.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools


- 1,5mm thick sheetmetal, size is different for every camera. take a look at the available templates.

- wood turning blank, minimun size: 60 x 60 x 80mm. Choose a nice wood specie you like.

- 1/4 inch camera screw, M4 machine screws and M4 brass inserts

- cutting template


- angle grinder with cutting disc and sanding flap wheel

- Basic turning tools, like roughing gouge, spindle gouge, round-nose scraper, parting tool and narrow parting tool (you can get away with just a bowl gouge as well but some extra tools are handy).

- basic tools, like hammer, awl, screwdriver, sandpaper, file, center punch, ruler and callipers

- cordless drill or even a drill press

- safety equipment like hearing protection and a dust mask!

- and a camera of course!


-At the end of the instructables you can find al the files and a pdf-guide (in dutch).

Step 2: Cutting & Drilling the Sheetmetal Bracket


Start off by printing out the cutting template, if you want to make a custom one there is an siemens NX cad file available where you can set the right parameters for your particular camera.

We used spray glue to attach or template to the sheetmetal piece.

Than you cut out the shape using a cutting disc on your angle grinder. Alternativelly you can use a plasma or laser Cam cutter if you have acces to such a machine.

After the sheetmetal is roughly cut, you can start shaping it to its final shape with a flapdisc on the angle grinder or you can use a disc or belt sander.

Don't forget to deburr the piece!

Sharp corners can be brought to it's final shape with a rectangular file.

The mounting holes for the handle are center punched, drilled with a 5mm drill, and then countersuncked.

Step 3: Bending the Sheetmetal


This is a easy task if you have a bending brake otherwise you can use a vise since it is a small piece.

think of the order of bending so that you don't need to rebend a piece when you can't bend the last one.

Tip: if you already removed the template, you can scribe a line with your callipers or with a ruler and scribe pencil.

Step 4: Turning the Handle

Turning equipment:

- the lathe: a small benchtop lathe is fine for this application since it is a small part that we need to turn.

- 4-jaw chuck: this is not really necessary, but is verry handy for turning the top of the handle.

- turning chissels and tools: if you are a bit skeptical of using the normal turning tools like we discussed in step 1, the easy alternatives are scrapers and carbide tools like shown above.

1. roughing out:

We chuck up the piece between centers to rough it out with a big roughing gouge.

This is a perfect opportunity to practis with the skew chissel to make a nice cilinder blank.

2. basic shape

We give the piece a basic schape with a bowl gouge, and shape a tenon to the left side of the piece so we can chuck it up in the 4-jaw chuck.

3. finish off the shape

Now you can define the final shape with the tools you prefer.

4. sanding

Start with 100 grid sandpaper and work your way up to 1000 grid.

Tip: Set your lathe in reverse for easy sanding.

5. finishing

We use a piece of beeswax for the finish, this is a easy way to quickly give you an nice result.

Apply the wax to the turning piece and polish it up with a rag at high RPM.

6. remove the piece

End by parting of the piece with the narrow parting tool.

Step 5: Final Assembly

The assembly is very simply, we just need to attach the handle to the bracket with the M4 screws.

To do so start by drilling 5mm holes at the right locations on the handle. Make them deep enough so the screw can pass through.

Press the M4 inserts in the holes, and screw the handle on.

Now you just need to screw your camera on with the 1/4 inch screw and your done!

Step 6: Additions & Alternatives

The camera aid reaches furder than the bracket alone.

You can add additional button aids etc.

The button aids you see above are 3D-printed. They overcome that the user accidentally pushes the wrong buttons that he doesn't need.

If you don't want to make the metal bracket or for instant don't have acces to a lathe, you can 3D-print al the different pieces. For small cameras it is even possible to lassercut the bracket out of a 2mm thick ABS sheet.

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