3D-Printed Screw-In Front Lenscaps With Optional QR Code

by profhankd, published

3D-Printed Screw-In Front Lenscaps With Optional QR Code by profhankd May 14, 2016


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My thing http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:414556 was a really quick and easy 3D-printable screw-in front lenscap design, set-up as a customizer application. Less than $0.15 worth of materials are used to make a typical size lenscap, yet they work well and can even double as color references. An Instructable gives the details: http://www.instructables.com/id/3D-Printed-Screw-In-Front-Lenscaps/ .

This thing is improved in three ways (demonstrated with the green cap):

  1. This uses the new OpenSCAD font support, so you can specify the font used for labels... and you can now have 1, 2, or 3 lines of text. This version doesn't use the Write.scad library.
  2. There is now provision to specify a turn (rotation) of the screw thread to ensure the text labels stop right-side-up when the cap is screwed-into your lens filter thread.
  3. This now integrates the QR code generator http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:258542 so that you can imprint a QR code label on the inside of your lenscap. Why do that? For starters, you could use it to ID which adapted legacy lens you're using by simply taking a photo of (or including) the lenscap whenever you swap lenses.


Although the customizer parameters are well commented, please see the Instructable, http://www.instructables.com/id/3D-Printed-Screw-In-Front-Lenscaps/ , I wrote giving the details -- especially about sizing the lenscap. Keep in mind that, although you can add a QR code now, you do not have to use a QR code. Just set the QR Name to "" to work just like the old version of this thing.

Creating STLs

The OpenSCAD file has fairly obvious, commented, parameters that can be set using the Customizer or by manual editing of the file. There are way too many useful combination possible, so no STL files are posted here -- just the OpenSCAD source.

Filament Choice

Pick a plastic that has a neutral color so you can use the lenscap as a color reference. The Rosewill Grey PLA used here is quite close to a neutral gray. White or gray PLA, or clear T-Glase, are what I'd recommend.

Printing Issues

It's a straightforward and fast print, although it does have tight precision constraints on the thread diameter and pitch. PLA tends to work better than ABS because ABS doesn't hold dimensions as well over a large diameter; I also find using no more that 40% fill gives less distortion of the parts as they cool. The 0.75mm pitch typical of filter screw threads is really much too fine to be printing on typical consumer-level printers, but this uses a slightly tweaked metric-compatible thread design that prints easily in PLA on my MakerGear M2 even with 0.25mm extrusion. The printed thread is quite shallow, but it's more than sufficient to hold the cap in.


The original version was distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution license. This version is GNU-GPL because the QR code generator it uses is. However, that QR code generator can be removed from the end of the OpenSCAD source without damaging any other functionality.

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Hi ProfHankD, I am so looking forward to trying your 3d designs!