3D Printing The Radioactive Bomber Cam

By on May 7th, 2013 in Usage


Fabbaloo friend Patrick Letourneau recently completed a unique photography project enabled by 3D printing. The Bomber Cam is a hybrid camera made from an actual (and radioactive) World War II bomber camera lens and a modern GH2 digital camera. 
Somehow Letourneau obtained the ancient camera, which was originally strapped to the bottom of World War II bombers to take high resolution photos of reconnaissance targets. After the war the camera was used in radioactive research, which left the rear element “hot”: it’s Thorium.  
But the big prize in the bomber cam was the massive Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5 lens, something Letourneau wanted to attach to his current digital camera. 
His design involved mounting the lens to focus images on a diffuser, a “super fine-frosted sheet of plastic that spreads out and evens out” light. The digital cam would then pick up reversed images from the diffuser. But how to securely mount the monstrous lens? 
Letourneau quickly designed and printed a set of mounts on an original Up! personal 3D printer to an accuracy of 0.2mm, which fit the lens perfectly. 
How well does the hybrid bomber cam work? Check out the images below: 
The implication of Letourneau’s project is that 3D printing can resurrect and even improve the past. That which was junk is no longer. 
Read the full story and see many more impressive images at Letourneau’s site. 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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