The Raspberry Pi is a well-loved mini PC that has been giving hobbyists and makers a plethora of new projects to play with since its birth back in 2012. It seems the credit card-sized, single board computers are giving folks new ideas left and right. Undoubtedly some ideas are better than others, but cameras seem to be one highly popular project on the DIY Pi list. Of the many unique cameras, one comes from Gregory Holloway, chief engineer of the BigBox 3D Printer, as well as the inventor of the MicroSlice Mini Laser Engraver and Cutter. After inventing an instructable camera called the SnapPiCam back in 2014, Holloway has decided to reinvent it as a new 3D printable camera called Picture.
As fans of Holloway may remember, the SnapPiCam concept included the ability to build and hack your very own camera. Seeing tutorials on how to create a Raspberry Pi camera with a touchscreen gave Holloway the idea to develop the camera to be self-powered and accept different lenses. Then, he entered his SnapPiCam into the Instructables Raspberry Pi contest and won first place for the most creative Pi project created. Quickly after, Holloway put his SnapPiCam DIY kits on Kickstarter and began raising money. Four DIY model kits were available for tinkerers to choose from, or customers could simply purchase the pre-built, standard SnapPiCam (Digital Trends).
Raising only a fraction of his goal, funding on Kickstarter was unsuccessful. Fast forward to today, Holloway reports his new Raspberry Pi camera, Picture, came as inspiration from the SnapPiCam “failure”, when he decided to reinvent it as a 3D printable camera. It’s now made with better quality parts, and is entirely open-sourced using his online instruction (Geeky Gadgets).
Designed “in response to the newly released Adafruit PiTFT”, Holloway has also placed his Picture device in the Instructables contest. Thanks to this list from 3DPrint.com, anyone who wants to build their own camera may do so with the following: a Raspberry Pi Model A+, the Adafruit PiTFT 2.8” TFT 320 x 240 + Capacitive Touchscreen, an Adafruit PowerBoost 1000 Charger, an Adafruit Lithium Ion Polymer Battery (3.7v 2500mAh), a Raspberry Pi Camera, an Omnivision OV5647 based compatible camera board, the Adafruit Miniature WiFi Module, at least an 8GB MicroSD Card, a Miniature 19mm Slide Switch, and an optional set of Adafruit Tactile Switch Buttons.
Don’t forget, the casing of the device is made using a 3D printer, so don’t go out and buy all the hardware unless you’ve got access to something that will successfully layer melted filament into the design of your choice. If you want to copy his greatness, Holloway used his very own BigBox 3D Printer and the 123D Design .STL files for designing the camera. You can read through his documentation of it on the Instructables website. Although it may take you more than the 10 hours it took him, if you’re a true hobbyist and DIYer you are more than welcome to put your own skill to the test.
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