Reversing Camera: The New One (Part 1)

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Having pulled the old (analog) camera off my Legacy, its time to install the new one. I bought (what claims to be) a night-vision Rasbpi fish eye camera off Aliexpress – it works great, so far, with Emteria OS running on RPi3B. It’s just an electronic component though – no case and such – so I set down to design an enclosure and 3D print it and mount it on the old camera’s mount.

The camera module I bought off Aliexpress. I actually got two since it they were 10 bucks a pop.

Modelling the Enclosure

After some dilly-dallying in Sketchup (and sulking about Sketchup’s corporate demise), I scribbled rough design on some paper and then got down to Inventor. I find with Inventor that your design needs to have some level of (quantitive) development: it’s not a tool for mocking stuff up and winging it; it is/was ;( Sketchup’s beauty. Render below is what I ended up with.

Render showing longitudinal cut through the model. Grey bit is the envelope of the camera. What doesn’t show up in the slot at back for the ribbon wire.

I decided to house just the camera module in the enclosure and not the HDMI converter too, as the plug on the HDMI lead is just way too big and unmanageable. It would end up looking like I have a black shoe box fixed to the back of my car. I’ll route the ribbon wire through the mount and transition to the HDMI lead in the dry behind the door panelling.

Prepping for Print

I decided to split the model in two, in Slic3r, for printing. It’ll make it easier to get the camera in and also minimise the support need through the print. As I am printing with PLA it’ll be easy to weld to two half together with heat/ superglue and/or acetone.

Model split in two in slic3r. Probably should have done it in Inventor, but it was a last-minute “Hum, I don’t think I’ll be able to get the camera in” thought

The Print

As always my venerable Reprap played silly games with me (blocked nozzle x 3). When it got going on a steady keel it was okay though. Print cooling on heat-bed as I write…

Looking just like the render 😉 Yeah, not the prettiest print, but will do the job. The black crap on the heat bed is ‘ABS juice’ to stop warping. I feel if you feel into a vat of ABS juice you’d come out with a super-villain with a distaste for bats.




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