Sep 25, 2015 | By Kira

For most of us living in big cities, it’s often very rare to see a truly starry night, with each tiny dot visibly shining, and the moon bright enough to guide your path. And when you do finally get that chance, say if you’re camping, or out for a long drive, nothing is more disappointing than realizing that your smartphone camera is nowhere near powerful enough to capture it. Rather than lose the moment forever, you can 3D print this handy tripod adapter, which allows you to mount the Celestron FirstScope to any camera tripod and take in the view.

The Celestron FirstScope is an entry-level Dobsonian style telescope with a 76 mm aperture reflector optical tube. It comes with two standard 1.25’ eyepieces and features a focal length of 300mm. Its compact design makes it easy for trips and outdoor adventures, and because of its ease-of-use and low price (roughly $60 on Adafruit), anyone remotely interested in astronomy can use it to navigate the night sky.

With the 3D printed adapter, designed by the Ruiz Brothers for Adafruit Industries, you can easily mount the FirstScope onto your camera tripod, and use it either for general star-gazing, or to get close-up photos of the moon.

The adapter is printed in three parts PLA filament, with %15 infill and 0.2 layer height. It takes roughly three hours to print all parts, and only the iphone-adapter.stl needs to be printed with support material. Assembly is straightforward enough and requires a screwdriver tool set, 4 philips screws, a camera phone, and camera phone tripod. Though the adapter was specifically designed to fit an iPhone 5, 5S and 6 Plus, the source files can be edited directly in your browser using Autodesk’s 123D Design, and can be modified to fit nearly any other make and model.

We’ve seen a lot of 3D printed camera accessories and adaptations, such as this film-to-digital amalgamation, a professional camera slider, and this openSAM stabilizer, however even for casual or amateur users, this telescope adapter is one of the most accessible designs we’ve seen—the fact that it takes advantage of a smartphone camera, which so many of us already have to begin with, is another bonus.

When Galileo Galilei designed the first elementary telescope in 1609, he sought to unveil the mysteries of the night sky. He probably had no idea that four centuries later, we would be using hand held phones to snap high quality digital pictures of the same moon and stars he so admired. With the Celestron FirstScope and 3D printed camera tripod adapter, you can pay tribute to his vision, while taking in some of the most beautiful sights our universe has to offer. 



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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Derek wrote at 11/6/2015 6:40:27 PM:

Can I get one of those for Iphone 6 plus?

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