3D printing can be used to create many practical items for our life. After seeing his photo intern repeatedly tape a piece of paper to his flash for a light bounce, Eric Chu over at MAKE decided to make him a durable 3D printed diffuser for his Canon Speedlight 580EX II.
Using Autodesk Inventor and an Ultimaker 3D printer, Chu printed out two versions of flash diffuser for the camera. The first version was a standard rectangular shape used for checking if it fits to the camera. Normally such a standard rectangular flash diffuser costs about $10-15 in store.
The second version is the triangular version, which "maximizes surface area for greater light diffusion".
Both versions of the diffuser were printed using the Joris setting in Cura, which allows the part to be printed out in a gradual spiral. Even with just one wall, the part's quite strong, since there's no seam running along the side of the part.
A challenge I ran into while modeling the diffuser was that the body of the flash was not just a simple rectangle (it actually consists of a lot of curves), so I couldn't easily or accurately measure the dimensions of it. This meant that I couldn't make the diffuser that would perfectly contour around it. Instead, I settled on measuring the max width, length, height, a small curve on the front, and the two grooves on the sides of the flash, to allow the diffuser to slide up or down.
Chu said both types of diffusers fit good onto the Canon Speedlight 580EX II flash and they've been holding up even after several weeks of daily use.
Chu uploaded his designs and instructions on how to make and print the diffuser on Thingiverse. If you have a 3D printer at home, with a little modification you can just make your own flash diffuser.
Posted in 3D printing Applications
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