terraPin Bijou 6 x 4.5 Pinhole Camera

by schlem Mar 19, 2015
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Please Login to Comment

How long does this take?

I'm not sure what you are asking me.
Printing time is a function of your printer's capability, bed size, and infill. I think I can print everything, at high quality, in less than eight hours with a high infill (>50%) on a Lulzbot Taz4.
If you're concerned about pinhole exposure times, that is a function of film speed and available light. Refer to the exposure chart for more information.
Let me know if I failed to answer your question.

Thanks. You answered my question

I tried printing this in ABS last night... Sometime after going to bed the end lifted almost a quarter inch... 13 hours wasted. Most of the small parts are OK, but the top and of course main body are waste. I'll have to separate those pieces and try again.

ETA of the assembly guide?

I should finish that! Work, work, work. :)
If you are interested in making this camera, give me a week or so to put something more together.
I have designed much easier cameras to assemble since. You might check out the ACME family of cameras. The ACE shoots the same 6x4.5 frame and goes together with NO FASTENERS! http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1724928

terraPin ACME 6X6 (6x9, 6X4.5) Pinhole Cameras - 120 film
by schlem
Comments deleted.

Here's an update on truly opaque PLA:

In addition to SHAXON and MAKER FILAMENTS PLA, Thingiverse user PFLIEGEL reports that Orbi-Tech black PLA is opaque at 0.8mm thickness. I can't find a dealer in the USA, but if you are in Europe, these guys can set you up:

Filaments that have failed the opacity test:

If you have had success (or failure) with other PLA's please share!

please where do you get your 0.26mm pinhole's from??

thx again!!!


I make my own. I use 1/1000 inch-thick brass shim stock, with the methodology detailed here:

I use a digital calipers in lieu of a micrometer, and I verify the diameter with an electronic microscope when I am finished. With care, I find I get within .01 mm fairly consistently. If I screw it up, I just make it a bigger size, like 0.30 mm. I made a 0.18 mm the other day - that took several attempts.

It's not difficult, but there is a learning curve. The good news is that materials are cheap. I usually set aside time to make a dozen pinholes at a time. I label them with a fine sharpie.

thx for your help!!

still getting my head around all that is needed....

BTW....new 35mm film version looks great!!! hint hint!!


Great news! I can't wait to see it!
Bad news is that the only black PLA I've been able to buy so far that passed the opacity test was some surplus stuff I bought on ebay about a year ago and haven't seen available since. I still have two 1/4kg spools left, and I'm saving them for pinhole cameras. The Foxsmart stuff I'm using now is inexpensive, prints well, but fails the opacity test miserably. I might buy a roll of what Adafruit is selling (not cheap, but claimed to be top notch filament) and test that.

I think I have mentioned that I have had good luck with Shaxon Black PLA. It's cheap - ~$25 / kg, and available at Amazon and (sometimes) Fry's. Some people have reported horrible quality issues, but In a couple dozen spools, I think I have only had one spool that was iffy. YMMV, but I just ordered three more spools.

Yes I recall that. However it seems that nobody online stocks their black PLA filament in 1.75mm, only in 3mm. I've searched on line several times for it, and only came up with Shaxon Black PLA in 3mm, or other colors in 1.75. Bummer.

Comments deleted.

Both the 645 and 6x9 look tempting, but I'm waiting for a Terapin-135 (for 35mm film). 120 is nice stuff, but hard to find locally plus I have still have my 35mm development tanks and 35mm digital film scanners are cheap (compared to 120). Was thinking about your pinhead but it seems a bit crude compared to your later designs.

You're absolutely right. As much as I love using 120, 135 film is widely available, easy to use, and can be developed at the local pharmacy. I have spent months working on a 35 mm design that I want to call a terraPin. One of my design goals is accurate, sprocket-driven film indexing. The scale of 35mm film sprockets is at the limit of 3Dprinting precision for many printers. i may forgo it for version 1.0, but stay tuned.

Comments deleted.