Can you use 3D printing to fix camera gear? Absolutely! We 3D printed these adaptor sleeves out of CF Nylon to fit our new mic clips to our Rode Lav Go that we use to capture our audio. The possibilities are virtually endless with 3D printing and a little reverse engineering. This adaptor sleeve is pretty simple but the same principles can be applied to numerous applications. Let us know in the comments below if you want to see how our camera department created a custom grip for a Sony mirrorless camera for a tenth the cost of the actual part.
Why did we pick CF Nylon for this part? CF Nylon is an incredibly versatile material for many applications. In this case, its high print accuracy combined with its strength made it the perfect candidate to print out a very thin part like this.
Carbon-fiber Nylon in 3D printing uses the same, awesome material -- with chopped carbon fibers embedded throughout. This adds to the rigidity of the material - all the tiny carbon fibers create stiffness, and also make the part slightly lighter. It also increases dimensional accuracy -- because the fibers hold the polymer in place, less shifting and warping occurs at the edges and stress points. Regarding dimensional accuracy -- thanks to the fibers holding the polymer in place, less curling and warping occurs at the edges and stress points within the part. This also makes it much easier to print, especially if you don’t have a heated chamber. This also makes it much easier to print, especially if you don’t have a heated chamber. There are also continuous fiber-filled nylons with even more strength but these require special printers. Suited for structural parts, functional prototypes, and custom end-use production parts. Often we see continuous fiber from Markforged, or their Onyx material, which is a carbon-fiber nylon blend, just like ours -- except, we have data showing the 3DXTech brand is significantly stronger than the Markforged -- not only that but much cheaper -- the only difference is, you’ll have to print it yourself (and it will look just as good).