3D Hubs recently received an application for their Student Grant from Paul Kohlhaussen a student at Richmond. Thanks to 3D printing, Paul was able to combine expensive and discontinued cameras into one new device: The PK-6142016, also known as the Cycloptic Mustard Monster.
Project creator and designer: Paul Kohlhaussen
Writer: George Fisher-Wilson
Cycloptic Mustard Monster - Front
Cycloptic Mustard Monster - Top
Cycloptic Mustard Monster - Exploded
Paul Kohlhaussen, a student from Richmond in London has created a fully functioning 3D printed camera. Paul took the best features from an array of high-end cameras and combined them into one at a fraction of the cost. Without the funds to afford a high-end camera with the features he was looking for and no knowledge of CAD, Paul taught himself everything from scratch when designing and building the components.
The project initially started as Paul wanted to start shooting larger negatives than standard medium format allowed, which is possible, but only on expensive or discontinued cameras. This paired with the affordability of 3D printing got the project started.
The camera is built to shoot 6x14 negatives on 120mm film, and it's modular eight part design allows it work easily with different camera equipment. Paul brought together the features of the $5,000+ Mamiya 7 for medium format photography, the discontinued Hasselblad XPan for the panoramic frame size and took inspiration for the design from the $5,000+ Leica M series, resulting in the creation of The PK-6142016, also known as the Cycloptic Mustard Monster. Paul's design grew from the lens he chose to use (Schneider Kreuznach 90mm Super Angulon), which gave him a starting point to create the camera around.
Paul considered other technologies such as CNC and Injection Molding, but 3D printing was chosen as the most cost effective and accessible means of production. SLS Nylon was used thanks to its ability to be post processed and its high accuracy, making sure the tolerances were perfect for easy assembly. Due to SLS not needing support material during the printing process, it meant different parts with complex geometries could be 3D printed with a clean surface finish. To give the camera its unique look, it went through various forms of post processing, including sanding, a coating of automotive primer and a full cover of sealant.
In the future, Paul hopes to make the camera accessible to more people through turning it into an affordable product, so that this kind of photography is democratized and not only available to those can afford the high price point. There's also potential for the camera to be adapted for different lens and film sizes, opening up the door for even more creativity for budding photographers.