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While browsing the net I came across those cheap chinese filter sets. And I thought "hey this could be an intersting experimental platform for playing with filters". But soon I learned the disadvantages of the system:

  • - they do feature a different size than the standard 4x4 (or 100x100mm) size
    - they are made out of plastic wich is prone to scratches
    -they do feature dubious optical qualities. (Infrared pollution / ND filters not neutral)

So basically if you want to get serious in filters at a later stage you have to rebuy the whole set again. So I thought this might be an interesting project to design a filter system wich actually works with both sizes. So after a bit dabbling in LW modeler (wich, for me, is perfect for these kind of stuff, since my aquired muscle memory and its cad like interface allows me for quick iterations, without switching my mind between modeling and design.)

I came up with this concept (visualised in blender cycles):


filterconcept
initial design

BTW I strongly recommend your people to check out sites like Norelem and others like these to get your standarised parts.
While at it I also made a quick previsualisation in eevee just for the fun of it / as a leraning experience:

Again, a thing I really like about 3d printing, even more than having a physical model, is to think the design through, to come up solutions to problems wich arises during the creation. Also the physical restrictions you have to face.
For example I wanted to have as much of the visible area consiting of the flat bedside area, wich has a much cleaner lolok. ALso having as little as possible overhangs, use as little as possible material etc.

Now this design is flawed, most obvious the screws wich holds the lens adaptor (taken from the cheap chinese set) are in front of the first filter slot. Luckily I got that noticed before I ordered the screws, Another flaw is that its pretty much binary: You can either use 84mm filters or 100mm filters but you are not able to mix them together. I flaw wich was revised with a new clamp design after the inital print (and after I took the the photos)

There are a few things I additionaly cared about:

  • - The large black base plate avoids light polution and reflections from the backside.
    - The big clamps are as much as possble vertically away from the lens as possble.
    - Side light is avoided as much as possible
    - Avoidance of "bending" materials as much as ossible allowing to keep this holder printed in PLA
    - The 4 clamp row system is actually less thick then the chinese 3 clamp version

Once the chinese set and screws arrived I was ready to adapt the measurements and print out the second iteration of the holder

filterholderfront
Front side of the filter holder with the non intermixing sized clamps

filterholdeback 8bit
The backside

POST MORTEM

Now the design is not flawless... One big hurdle is time: Printing out a version of the holder with 4 clamps is about 15 hours. This does not count in other clamps for different filter thickness, wich will make this setup even more time intensive. Also changing the clamps and the lens adapttor is a bit cumbersome.
Also the screws I use to hold the clamps are much too long....although this might open up for further experiments with the system.   Also I wish I could find a solution to add traditional front lens filters to the setup.
Anyway anice little project, where I do wish I woud have noticed some design problems before I was that late in production. What will be interesting in the comming weeks is to experiment with this set and see how well it works out. Will release the file in a few days.

Previz of the "final" revision (003) rendered in eevee