The previous version of the ‘L’ bracket had two main problems:
- It needed an extra tripod mounting plate rather than having the dovetail profile printed as part of the bracket.
- Access to the remote shutter release and external power socket was blocked by the bottom of the bracket.
Version 2 was designed to fix both of these.
Design and Printing
Rather than modify the original design I thought that it would be easier to start from scratch but using the general dimensions from the previous version.
I used OpenSCAD to draw the model. It’s a parametric modelling tool and I find that it’s much easier to use when it’s critical to get exact dimensions. The downside is that it’s not so easy to get things like rounded corners, bevels and chamfers which can make the final model look and feel much nicer. However I only wanted a functional bracket, making it look nice can wait for version 3. 🙂
The 3D printing was straightforward except that we managed to print it with 10% infill rather than 50% for the previous version. However the final bracket seemed to be pretty stiff so we didn’t bother re-printing and it gives a useful saving in material.
Problems and Solutions
Naturally it wasn’t all plain sailing and I had some small problems but managed to fix all of them with some small mods:
1. I had deliberately left zero clearance for the shaft of the screw that holds the camera to the bracket because I wasn’t sure how much was needed. A couple of minutes filing generated the necessary clearance and the screw works fine.
2. My biggest concern was the dimensions of the dovetail that fits into the tripod. I measured the original very carefully but the dovetail part was at bottom of the print and hence the first section to be printed. This is never the cleanest part of the print and by the time that I’d tidied it up the fit was a little loose in the tripod. However a few layers of duct tape applied to one edge of the dovetail made it a snug fit 🙂
To be fair, although the original tripod plate was a good fit, the third party spares that I bought were not quite as tight a fit as I would have wanted. So I didn’t feel too bad about applying the duct tape fix.
3.There’s a small tendency for the camera to rotate about the screw when it’s fixed into the bracket. It’s not a bit deal but the inside of the base of the bracket could do with some thin rubber gluing to it to hold the camera more firmly. If the rubber was thin enough then it could also be used instead of the duct tape.
4. I got slightly lucky with one dimension on the tripod mounting plate. There is a limited clearance on one side when clipping into the tripod ( see “note about clearance” in image above ) and by chance my design just fitted with a small gap. This was fortunate otherwise some sawing and a probable reprint would have been needed.
The bracket seems to work fine in practice. Below is a Hugin preview window of an 8 photo stitch of the hedge in the field behind our house. I did the levelling by eye so it’s not quite perfect but I got 3022 vertical pixels out of a theoretical maximum of 4608 so we’re getting closer 🙂