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Looking for advice on 3D-printed zoom gears


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#1 texross

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 01:06 PM

Hi all -

 

I am putting together a Nauticam rig (Sony A7Rii if it matters) and am enjoying (/sarc) the cost of the various components. While I am not looking to cut corners and risk flooding my camera, I have been trying to buy used components and save money where possible/reasonable. As part of my research, I am looking to get a manual focus gear for one of my lenses (specifically https://www.nauticam...sony-fe-28mm-f2). I am a little shocked that a ring of plastic with gear teeth costs $175. I have seen some 3D models for zoom gears (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:948608) and was curious if anyone had experimented with 3D parts.

 

Obviously, I wouldn't risk a part that needs to withstand pressure, but for something as simple as a zoom gear inside the housing under vacuum, this seems like a reasonable way to save over $100.

 

Thanks in advance



#2 sunnyboy010101

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 02:52 PM

There is no available 3d model for a focus gear for the Canon 60mm macro lens, so I designed and built one.  ...Well, actually several before I had one that fit both the lens and the focus gear inside the housing. I built the final version in Aug of 2017, and have it installed on the lens for every dive since. Zero issues.

 

Later I also built a zoom gear "to try" on a lens that was not officially supported for my port. Glad I did - wide angle was fine, but it would only zoom about 1/8 before touching the port glass. Yea, maybe not something anyone else would do, but it cost maybe a buck in filament to test a theory. And... if I buy a dome port sometime it's ready to go. :-)

 

I thought the Nauticam gears were machined aluminum, not plastic. It would explain the cost. Otherwise, ???



#3 texross

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 03:22 PM

Thanks Wolf!

 

Did you print them on your own 3D printer or use a printing service?

 

Any advice on:

- designing the part based on my lens/housing (I have calipers and both in my possession)?

- getting the tooth curvature/size/count right?

- fitting the gear so it's "snug" but easy to assemble/disassemble?



#4 sunnyboy010101

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 05:24 PM

 

Wolf Eel is the designation assigned based on number of posts. I see you are Hermit Crab.

 

I built my own 3D printer based on the Prussia I3 design a few years ago from ebay parts. Works well, cost a lot - full kits are now lots less on Amazon. Still, I did it to learn hence not choosing a kit.

 

As for the gears, There are some gear design tools available (free) and some in various cad packages. I use Tinkercad - the online cad program as it's done all I want and isn't a vertical slope to learn.

 

I use calipers to size everything, draw lots of measured diagrams, etc. I did learn that parts shrink when made, and otherwise aren't 100% perfect to original size. My advice is to make some stuff, measure the made stuff and then adjust accordingly.

 

I also found you can build smaller elements like the gear, a cylinder, another (smaller or larger) cylinder, etc. and test fit them. They print quicker than the whole thing, and use less filament. THEN, when all the pieces fit, you can "assemble" the whole thing in slic3r and it will print as one item! Slic3r is the "slicing" program I use that takes model code and converts it to printer code. There are others but I like Slic3r.

 

Mostly it's "make one, find the problems, fix and repeat". My first gear took about 6 iterations even when I thought I was close.

 

In that light, I'd say it's not really feasible to do this kind of iterative design/build without your own printer.

 

I use PLA as my filament as it's easy to print. As for wear/tear longevity, I made a cave line spool at the same time (July 2017) and have taken it in my pocket on every dive since. It's still in perfect shape, so I have no real fears about using PLA for SCUBA stuff. I also dive ocean all the time.



#5 texross

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 05:38 PM

Haha, whoops. Thanks Sunny!

Great information! Thanks so much!

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#6 Timz

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 06:55 PM

My 3D printed gear...

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#7 Timz

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 06:59 PM

My 3D printed focus gear.6c3cdeb0694db8101b8f96162e0b4a9a.jpg

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#8 texross

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 07:22 PM

Thanks for sharing Tim! Are you using a set screw in that design?

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#9 okuma

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:59 PM

There is minimal torque on a lens ring and don't worry about tooth design and pitch diameters..

For a couple of bucks, look at this:

https://www.ebay.com...675.m4096.l9055


Underwater Photography:
If it is so easy every one would be doing it!

Nikon D 500, Subal Housing, Inon Z 240 strobes.


#10 Timz

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:30 PM

Thanks for sharing Tim! Are you using a set screw in that design?

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I thought it'd be more convenient to print than to drill just incase if i need them. But I ended up didn't use. I print slots for oring inside gear.

More like stripped. Cut orings.

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#11 hyp

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:46 PM

Just to add to the previous posters experiences. If you want to design your own gear, but do not have your own printer, it is important that you get the measurements right first time and design your gear in such a way, that adjustments like adding an extra mm thickness with tape are possible. I have by now printed 3 gears for my parents' Subal housing and an adapter to fit the Panasonic 8-18 lens into the original Nautiacam Olympus 12-40 zoomgear for my own housing. I do not have a printer at home, so all of these had to pretty much work first try (the very first had to be done twice). To help with my design I had an original zoom gear by Subal (which is now replaced, because my version was easier to install). I would recommend you start by getting one of the many available designs to get the gear size right and then adjust to fit your own lens.

 

The most interesting part of the design is the way your gear attaches to the lens. Some work just by friction. This means it's hardest to install and also needs to be the most precise. My subal gears work by using a slightly flexible plastic (shapeways strong and flexible) and having a gap that gets pulled together by a screw. This needs enough space in the housing/port because the gear needs to have a certain thickness. I think the best solution is to mimmick Nauticams 2-part design of a rigid larger outer ring with a gear and a flexible inner ring with the cutout. You have to design two parts though.

 

There is a significant difference in print quality from home printers to something that shapeways (my current preference for printing services) use. You can expect that your design will be printed very accurately by them. My prints cost between 20 and 50€ depending on the size of the gear.


Edited by hyp, 16 May 2018 - 10:49 PM.


#12 Timz

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 02:57 AM

My second camera is Olympus E-M5 Mark II with the Olympus PT-EP13 housing.

I am using Panasonic 8mm fisheye for my Wide Angle shots. However, the Precision domeport I have for my E-PL6 housing does not fit the E-M5ii housing because of an external dial that's blocking the port.

So, I am to design an print the dial to replace the original dial.

the dial will be exposed to seawater. Do u all think PLA will dissolve in seawater??

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#13 hyp

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 03:22 AM

A quick google seems to say that PLA might not last that long in salt water. That said, experience trumps googling so maybe someone with first hand knowledge can chime in.



#14 sunnyboy010101

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 08:03 AM

 

I did.

 

I 3d printed a PLA spool (cave line pocket reel) in two parts and crazy glued the parts together. That was 2017 August. 

 

It's been in my pocket on every dive since I made it and is still in perfect condition. I dive every Sunday, dives lasting 70-90 min. It gets rinsed with the rest of my gear and then stored just like my delrin spools. No issues at all - not with the PLA, not with the glue.

 

I've also 3d printed a go-pro mounts and have been using them without issues. I 3d printed a ball mount for my SOLA 1200 - again no issues. All done with PLA. This stuff: AMZ3D 1.75mm PLA 3D Printer Filament, Black, 1 Kg spool (2.2 lbs) from Amazon. It's nice filament and has given no 'tangling' issues either.

 

I'll post a photo of my focus gear in a bit...


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#15 sunnyboy010101

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 08:07 AM

The focus gear (I had a photo). It's a friction fit on the Canon EFS-60mm f2.8 macro lens. The fit is snug and it works very well.

 
 
 

Attached Images

  • T800_Nauticam - Canon 7D 60mm focus gear 2017-08-01.jpg


#16 Timz

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 06:16 AM

I'm jist worry it dissolves half way diving and flood my camera. Maybe I should go for ABS instead. hahae8d3f9b9c2adf5bf9194cc4d5bd33f35.jpg

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