You can view the results of the Pixels and Prisms 163mm f/2.5 lens here. If you're interested in building the lens at home, however, you can find files and resources on this page, organized by build step.
Part 1: Attach lens mount to the lower lens barrel
- 3D print the lens mount and lower lens barrel in a high detail setting.
- The lens barrel is a stepped form. Attach the rim of its lower opening (the one with a smaller diameter) to the flat lip of the lens mount using adhesive.
Part 2: Add focusing barrel to lower lens barrel
- 3D print the focusing barrel in a high-detail setting.
- Attach its rim to the internal flange of similar diameter that sits within the lower lens barrel. Align with as much precision as possible.
Part 3: Finish focusing mechanism
- 3D print the inner focusing barrel in a high-detail setting.
- Fully insert into the outer focusing barrel.
- Cut three 7mm sections of 3D printer filament to serve as pegs.
- Attach pegs to the inner focusing barrel through the tracks in the outer focusing barrel.
Part 4: Bond focus ring and aperture base.
- 3D print the aperture base and focus ring in a standard setting.
- Attach the non-scored side of the aperture base to the focus ring - the side where a lip dips down and then reaches up again within the focus ring.
Part 5: Finishing the focusing mechanism
- Attach the remaining unbonded side of the focus ring to the inner focusing tube using a small quantity of glue.
- When the adhesive is dry, reinforce the connection with another layer of glue which sits above the previous bond.
Part 6: Attach pegs to aperture blades
- 3D print 12 aperture blades and 12 aperture pegs in a high detail setting.
- The aperture blades already have one peg built-in. Attach the remaining twelve pegs on the side opposite the existing ones, one per blade. There is a perforation in the aperture blade which marks the optimal position.
Part 7: Insert aperture blades into aperture base
- Have your dry aperture blades (with pegs) at hand, as well as the rest of the lens assembly.
- Slide the pegs (the ones which you printed as a part of the aperture blades) into the grooves in the aperture base. Work counterclockwise, lifting up existing placements after the halfway mark.
- Align the pegs into an even distribution.
Part 8: Complete aperture mechanism
- Slot the aperture ring over the evenly-distributed pegs. This may require printing the aperture ring in two identical halves. The upward-facing pegs have slight protrusions which make them easy to manipulate into position with 3D printer filament or household items.
- In the event of warping, consider an additional part to secure the aperture ring. This was required in one of four tests that I conducted.
Part 9: Attach lens element
- Attach your lens element to the aperture ring. Adjust distance through your viewfinder until the scene is in sharp focus. You can expect a shallow depth of field: you can fix this later using your aperture.
Part 10: Test
- Test the aperture and focusing mechanisms.
- Note that the aperture can shrink to a 15mm diameter. Don't be afraid to push it to this point: it is a sturdy mechanism.
- Photographing geometric forms should provide an indication of distortion. However, you can also use a printable test card.
Get started now with any 3D printer you have access to. Online print services can also provide many of the project parts.