Creative Tools, the same company that brought us #3DBenchy, the free 3D printer torture test model, recently released a new open-source, DIY 3D-printing project to make photographing small objects easier than ever. It’s called the Smartphone Photo Studio, a bench that holds your phone parallel to your small objects, allowing you to take great, detailed still shots of your trinkets. The photos are pretty impressive.
The solution was created for #3DBenchy, the 3D-printed tugboat meant to reveal defects in 3D printers. The tiny boat includes a number of features that will reveal almost any 3D-printing errors, from surface finishing to warping and more.
The intricate boat model includes small cylindrical shapes, slanted and horizontal holes of various sizes, overhang ledges, planar planes, raised letters, curved surfaces and intricate patterns to put your 3D printer to the test.
Once you print a #3DBenchy, Creative Tools says you can use your Smartphone Photo Studio to take high-definition photos of your prototype, to carefully measure the efficiency of your printing machine. But the studio isn’t only good for that. In fact, it allows you to take professional-grade photos of any tiny object – a huge benefit for entrepreneurs in multiple disciplines. You can choose from several different fixtures and mounts as well.
The blueprint is available for free on various 3D print model repositories. The mount slip, slides and locks into place independently, held in place by elastic bands. With this, every section is adjustable, from the phone holster and the camera eyepiece to the platform on which the small objects rest. With the help of Creative Tools’ tiny flashlight holsters, also available for download and print, and blank photo paper, you can get the best shots using only a camera phone.
However, if film is your thing, Creative Tools also has you covered. The company has created a way to capture smooth video footage of your prints–a crank-actuated rotary platform for recording 360° videos. The design is included along with the Photo Studio print files with a version for #3DBenchy and another blank for other objects.
The Smartphone Photo Studio is a delightful invention, because it levels the playing field for makers that do not specialize in photography. Many makers, jewelers, locksmiths and artists alike are self-employed and do the best they can with the resources they have. They can do better. With just a camera phone and access to a 3D printer, you have a powerful platform to take captivating photos and enhance your product appeal. Now go do it. Or, you know, go get a better camera.