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Welcome to my blog.

Most of my entries these days are about various electronics projects that I’ve designed. All of the electronics project entries can be viewed from the electronics project index. There are also various other categories, including a how-to section and a product review section. If you want to view one of the other categories, then use the ‘Categories’ drop-down to the right.

Now let’s start with the most recent blog entry…


Hot Shoe to 1/4-20 Quick Release Magnetic Mount for LumeCube

Short diversion from the usual electronics posts, while I talk about my new camera light…

I designed and 3D printed this magnetic quick release mount to attach a LumeCube v2 that I recently purchased to my DSLR camera.

Purpose

I noticed recently that my camera lighting is sometimes lousy, the Polaroid light that I had been using had failed, and I was relying on my shop lights, which are a little bit to “warm”. I did a little research and decided to buy something called a “Lume Cube”. I opted for the latest, which is version 2. This Lume Cube thing is pretty awesome, a lot of light in a tiny package, with a built-in diffuser, built-in rechargeable battery, and even bluetooth control. I get nice light now when I make my videos.

However, it was still a little cumbersome to add and attach and remove the Lume Cube from my camera. As many readers of the blog know, I’ve been doing a lot of 3D printing lately, so I decided to design and print a magnetic mount.

Design Process

I did all of this in Tinkercad, which is a great program for creating 3D models quickly. It is web-based software, and I ordinarily dislike web-based software, preferring something I can install on my PC. However, despite that I’ve grown quite accustomed to using the program.

I started looking for resources on Thingiverse and came across https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:33823 by raster. This model has the dimensions of the hot shoe built right into it, and I was able to use it as a basis for developing the camera interface. I made a test print of this to see if it fit my camera, and it did. It was a bit loose though — not dangerously loose — but not quite as tight as I wanted. More on that in a moment.

Next I started working on the magnetic portion of the mount. I added a rectangle and dropped four 6.1mm x 3.2mm cylinders into to it. Tinkercad’s basic primitives are “solids” and “holes”, so if you add four cylindrical holes to a rectangular solid, you’ll end up with a rectangular piece of plastic with four magnet pockets in it. I went a little oversize on the magnet pockets to account for 3D printing tolerances.

Next up was to make it so that I could more solidly attach the mount to the camera. I cut a “wedge-shaped” piece out of the mount (again, in Tinkercad-speak, adding a wedge-shaped hole to the model) and made a separate wedge-shaped piece. Now we have wedge that when we pull it in, we it will get progressively tighter against the camera. I put a screw hole through it all for an M2.5 machine screw.

The next concern was strength. I wanted it to be able to print without supports, and to have the layer lines such that the base was not subject to breakness in the vertical direction. So I designed the whole model to print on its side. This required adding a little wedge (be mindful of the 45% overhange rule). I also added a little pillar to eliminate the need for supports in the wedge-pocket. We have our base completed.

For the top piece, the process was similar. I started with a rectangle and I added four cylindrical holes for the magnet pockets. Then I added a hole for the 1/4-20 screw, and a larger hole to countersink the head of the 1/4-20 screw. I had to account for the diffuser filter mount on the Lume Cube, so I added a small indentation to the top. The top was considerably easier that the base.

Find it on Thingiverse

You can find it on Thingiverse at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4097839


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