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Filmmaker uses COVID-19 work lull to make and sell $10 3D-printed camera battery cases: Digital Photography Review

A documentary film maker from Utah has designed and built a series of battery holder magazines that he says help to solve the problem of knowing which batteries are fresh and which are depleted. The 3D printed magazines hold three or four batteries from common cameras and allow the batteries to be inserted contacts up for dead batteries and down for fresh ones.

Tim Irwin, who is printing the magazines in his basement, had been meaning to come up with a solution to this problem for a while, and had tried downloaded plans for 3D printed magazines in the past, but found they always broke. ‘I originally found files on Thingiverse that worked for a bit. But all the designs I tried from there ended up breaking because of a weak point in the print’ he explains. ‘When the travel restrictions around Covid 19 hit every one of my gigs was cancelled or postponed, so it seemed like prefect time to dive into this side mission. I designed my own from scratch and refined it over a long period of time until I was happy with the product. I’m always looking for ways to make my kit more efficient, quick, and organized. The Battery Mag was born out of that.’

Tim has designed the magazine so that when fresh batteries are loaded with their contacts down they are isolated from each other and from anything else the magazine might come into contact with, so the risk of shorting is avoided. And with deads loaded with the contacts facing up it is easy to see at a glance which battery to reach for next in fast moving situations.

Tim, who owns Functional Films, makes commercial video documentaries and says he is usually on the road shooting about 140 days a year. That has all stopped due to the coronavirus out-break, so this is how he is filling his time.

The Battery Mags are available for Panasonic DMW-BLF19, Canon LP-E6/N, Pentax DLI90, Sony NP-FZ100, Sony NP-FW50 batteries and he says a unit for Panasonic S cameras is also in production. The magazines are $9, $10 and $14 each, respectively, and can be ordered via the Battery Mag website.

For examples of Tim’s work see his Instagram page.


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