terraPin OSKAR Tuxedo 6X9 Lochkamera

by schlem, published

terraPin OSKAR Tuxedo 6X9 Lochkamera by schlem Jun 9, 2017


The terraPin OSKAR Tuxedo 6X9 pinhole camera is easy to print and assemble, requiring but a single lock nut and bolt for the shutter and a flanged 1/4-20 nut for the tripod mount. The 29 mm 'focal length' provides for a wide angle (approx. 110 degrees) and just a bit of optical vignetting at the corners of the 6X9 frame, for a classic pinhole look. OSKAR is designed for a pinhole diameter of 0.23 mm, but that's not a critical dimension. Exposure charts for a variety of films are included in the Thing Files.

The OSKAR Tuxedo has recesses in the front and back for decorative purposes. I have used leatherette from CameraLeather.com and cherry veneer from rockler.com, but you could use topographic maps, postcards, your kids artwork! There is a template file for cutting the sheet material to fit.

There are now .SVG files for the decorative panels for your lasercutting / CNC pleasure!

Additional knob options added!
See terraPin High-Strength Winder (1/4" shaft) for additional winder/knob options!

While the center of the frame is f/135, I recommend shooting it a little slower at f/165 to balance the exposure differences between the middle and edges of the frame. Also, for best results, a film with good exposure latitude is necessary: B&W or color negative film. Slide film may experience unexpected color shifts at the periphery.

Load the film on the RIGHT side and wind on the LEFT side. The frame index numbers will be visible in the window behind the slide. I 3Dprint translucent discs to glue into the recess inside the camera body.

A pinhole camera is essentially a light-tight box with a teeny, tiny hole. After that, everything else is embellishment. I've designed a dozen or more pinhole cameras for 3D printing, the first couple being being rough exercises in ugly. Subsequent iterations feature details like knurled textures, clever joinery inspired by fine woodworking, and better solutions to assembly. Not only do my more recent cameras go together and work better, they look better. The P6*6, endures as a popular pinhole camera on Thingiverse, but it's difficult to assemble and fiddly to shoot. I consider it obsolete.

“If today's arts love the machine, technology and organization, if they aspire to precision and reject anything vague and dreamy, this implies an instinctive repudiation of chaos and a longing to find the form appropriate to our times.”
Oskar Schlemmer, member of the Bauhaus School

Long before the Goth-Punk Band, the Bauhaus School aimed to "to reimagine the material world to reflect the unity of all the arts". The Bauhaus principles were extremely influential on modern design, architecture, graphics, interior design and typography. Historians characterize Bauhaus-style buildings with a prevailing harmony between design and function and a noticeable lack of ornamentation. The Bauhaus school's approach of unifying art and craft with technology also influenced design education. The teaching philosophy at the Bauhaus school was that artists should be capable of working with the industrialists.

The Bauhaus fell under criticism as the Nazis began to rise to power. The Nazi government deemed the new modern lines favored by the Bauhaus "un-German," and controversy arose regarding radical architectural concepts, such as flat roofs. From its early beginnings, the Nazis viewed the work of the Bauhaus as "degenerate art" and the product of "undesirable" foreign influences. Many of the Bauhaus artists fled Germany after Hitler came to power. The emigrating artists helped spread the Bauhaus design principles worldwide and brought about a major change in architectural design in the United States, Canada, Western Europe and Israel.

3D printing takes mass production and democratizes it, distributing the production of real things, from whimsical to useful, to the hands of those who would have them. I see this as a logical evolution from Bauhaus design principles. The terraPin OSKAR is my 21st century response to the Bauhaus school of design. I hope you 3D print OSKAR and use it to make disruptive and degenerate art. A little disruption right now couldn't hurt.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution - Non-Commercial license. This license applies only to the files and documents available for download from the Thing Files section of this Thing.
All other related content (photographs, videos, and verbiage such as contained in "Description" or "Instructions" ) are excluded from this license, with all rights reserved, unless specifically available for download This notice constitutes a clarification, not a change, to licensing for this design.

Print Settings

Printer Brand:




Doesn't Matter




0.20 mm


40% for opacity and strength


First and foremost, USE OPAQUE FILAMENT. ABS is fine, but PLA is prone to translucence. If unsure, use this OPACITY TOOL to assess the opacity of your filament. I maintain a list of tested PLA filaments and their opacities on that Thing page; If you find another opaque PLA, please share in the comments.

You need absolute opacity for the shutter disc, but the rest of the camera can be printed with high infill if your filament just isn't quite there.

The winders are the only parts that require support. I tried to engineer support that would make for a better part, but I can't beat the support structures generated by SLIC3R.

I printed with 3 perimeters for best possible surface finish.


Clean up

This is a web of built-in support under the flat plate that is part of the cap assembly. This must be cleaned out prior to installing the winders. I pluck and twist with a needlenose pliers and then trim any remaining bits with an Xacto blade. Failing to take this support webbing out will cause difficulty winding film at best, jamming and damage at worst.

The winders are held captive by a length of 3mm filament. The natural curve of your filament creates a bit of tension inside the joint. I recommend that you predrill the holes with a 1/8 inch bit and round or sharpen one end of your filament pins.

The 6X9 variant uses a flanged 1/4-20 nut for the tripod threads. The plug is intended to fill the hole inside the body.

A countersunk 10mm panhead M3 bolt and lock nut secure the shutter. Adjust tightness to your preference. You want the shutter secure, yet easy to move without jostling the camera. You may find that the burr on the bottom side of the shutter disk interferes with rotation. I did, and I trimmed it away.

Additionally, I paint the inside surfaces that could cause an internal reflection with a flat black acrylic paint. Possibly not necessary, depending on degree of shiny that your filament produces.

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Just to be clear, a separate pinhole needs to be made/purchased for this, correct?

Awesome! Do you think you could provide files for laser-cutting the decorative cutouts? Either .svg or .ai (I could just cut them by hand I suppose, but I have access to a laser cutter).