how a student moulded three costly cameras he couldn't afford into a 3D printed device

how a student moulded three costly cameras he couldn't afford into a 3D printed device


with the support of groundbreaking 3D printing platform 3D hubs, richmond student paul kohlhaussen has created a fully functional 3D printed camera, taking the best features from an array of costly high-end cameras and reverse engineering them into the camera of his dreams. with no prior knowledge in CAD software, kohlhaussen taught himself everything from scratch when designing and building the eight components that make up the camera’s modular design. providing access to over a billion people worldwide, 3D hubs simply analyzes the user’s digital design and uses their matchmaking algorithms to present the best 3D print options.

click here to find out more about 3D hubs’ student grant 

the project initially started as paul kohlhaussen wanted to start shooting larger negatives than the standard medium format allows, which is generally only possible with expensive cameras. the designer brought together the features of the $5,000+ mamiya 7 for medium format photography, the discontinued hasselblad XPan for the panoramic frame size and the $5,000+ leica M series, resulting in the creation of his project — the PK-6142016, otherwise known as the cycloptic mustard monster. the camera is built to shoot 6 x 14 negatives on 120 film and its modular eight part design allows it  to easily pair with different camera gear.

the cycloptic mustard monster takes panoramic photos much like the discontinued hasselblad XPan


kohlhaussen considered other technologies such as CNC and injection moulding, but 3D printing proved to be the most cost effective and accessible means of production. the product uses SLS nylon due to its ability to be post-processed and easy assembly; additionally, it does not require supporting material during the printing process making the complex geometric aspects able to print with a clean surface finish.

the camera can be mounted onto a tripod

an image taken with the cycloptic mustard monster
‘frank on kodak portra 800, 1/15, f8’

an image taken with the cycloptic mustard monster
‘the black forest on kodak ektar, 1/250, f16’

an image taken with the cycloptic mustard monster
‘somewhere over switzerland on fomapan 400, 1/125, f8’

preliminary sketch of the product

post processing the body with an automotive primer

an exploded view of the different components



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynn chaya | designboom

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