VCUarts Qatar uses 3D technology to print cameras
12 Oct 2020 – 9:12
Chris Buchakjian, VCUarts Qatar Digital Manufacturing Lab and Carpentry Coordinator at FabLab.
Doha: When the country’s educational institutions reopened for the new academic year, it was evident that the provision of specific essential tools and resources would be delayed due to the pandemic-induced disruption to normal business operations.
However, such delays were hardly a problem for faculty and staff at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar), a partner university of the Qatar Foundation.
When classes began for the fall semester 2020, professors and staff at the university’s Department of Painting and Printmaking (PAPR) realized that they would not be importing enough analog cameras for all. students of the course in time for the start of the course.
With analog photography (or pinhole, as it is popularly called) an integral part of the PAPR curriculum – and buying cameras inside the country turns out to be too expensive – faculty and staff have did the next best thing – they did theirs. Or rather, they 3D printed them.
âWe realized that due to COVID-19 induced delays in business processes and shipping, we didn’t have time to import enough analog cameras for our students,â said Khalifa Al Obaidli, of the painting and engraving department of VCUarts Qatar. Instructor.
âAnd buying them locally was too expensive an option. As creators and designers, we are trained to seek solutions. In this specific case, it meant making our own. Online searches have revealed an open source link to designs that can be 3D printed. We discussed our idea with the FabLab team, who were excited about the possibility of creating analog cameras from scratch, âadded Obaidly.
Obaidli and other PAPR professors including Aissa Deebi, Abir Zakzok and Rola Khayyat have teamed up with the FabLab team at VCUarts Qatar to 3D print various component models. Saga Elkabash from the FabLab team has adapted these models to meet the specific requirements of the PAPR program which includes analog or pinhole photography.
âThe beauty of analog photography – unlike digital photography – is the ability to observe the actual process of photo development, from taking an image to darkroom development,â Obaidli explained.
Chris Buchakjian, Digital Manufacturing Lab and Carpentry Coordinator at VCUarts Qatar, who was part of the team that researched and developed the camera, explained the development process in more detail.
âThe PAPR faculty directed us to an open source 3D printable camera designed by Clint O’Conner,â Buchakjian said.
âWith this 3D model as a starting point, we made adjustments according to the needs of the faculty. The camera is almost entirely 3D printed. It’s a beautiful design and a testament to the value of open source 3D modeling communities working together to share their expertise.