3D Printing Just for the Sake of It? Designer Weighs His Options for Simple Webcam Mount
Size is not a factor these days for those endeavoring to create via 3D printing technology. From 3D printed office buildings housing busy staff to 3D printed cars that will soon be on the market—to massive building projects in villages, there’s a 3D printer for nearly everything it would seem, and for those who are resourceful, if there’s not a 3D printer for the job, they make one!
But the devil is often in the details when we are trying to make any piece of technology work for our own daily requirements. Sometimes we aren’t trying to make history. We’re just trying to make it through the day finishing up a basic project or two. But a product that lacks the comfort and convenience we require due to one or two annoying details can be enough to make us return it, or just shove it in a closet and use something that works better. This was the case for David Gewirtz, who finally brought his Logitech BCC950 Conference Cam back out to see the light of day one last time as he considered how to make it work for his purposes.
Not wanting to give up on this particular camera because it does apparently have numerous redeeming qualities (especially as it is still on the market and seems to be popular with users as Gewirtz refers back to an older review), Gewirtz—still confused as to why this particular model did not have a screw mount—decided to see if he could put the greatest benefits of 3D printing to use here in terms of a small customization that would be affordable enough to make this piece of technology worth keeping, and using.
“For some reason, many webcams and even higher-end conference cameras like the Logitech BCC950 Conference Cam can’t be attached to a tripod. The general expectation, I suppose, is that conferencing cameras are meant to be placed on a conference table,” said Gewirtz. “But tripods are a common way of mounting a camera and it’s just odd that the $249 BCC950 doesn’t come with the little screw mount on the bottom of its body.”
The camera had actually been stuck in a closet for years. Without the mount, there was simply no use for it in the Broadband Studio, despite some features he thought would be very helpful in a variety of video projects.
“But it’s a heck of a camera,” said Gewirtz, as he checked it out again, reconsidering. “As I worked on revamping the studio, I once again took a look at the BCC950. Not only is it a nice camera, but it has remote pan, tilt, and zoom. That’s a useful set of features.”
The original idea here? Gewirtz thought he’d use the 3D printer to come up with his own affordable and customized mount. The technology is commonly used to make a variety of mounts and brackets, and we see it today in very serious applications as well, even for vehicles and satellites being made by NASA.
In the end though, the making of this mount ended up being a bit of a cautionary tale about not making things any harder on yourself than necessary, something else we tend to discuss in terms of 3D printing and whether it’s always really worth it—or are you just fabricating something because it’s really cool that you can roll it out from the 3D printer?
Gewirtz weighed out his choices, and in the end—which seems rarely to be the case these days—he decided to go for a ready-made $7 mount (most often used for boats) which you can check out in the video below as he attaches it, after ordering from Amazon. It turned out to be a quick and easy project, and if you’ve got one of these cameras, or something similar, Gewirtz offers a simple way to make this $250 camera work for you with a stick-on mount for under $10, and only thirty minutes of your time required. Have you worked with this webcam? Discuss over in the No 3D Printing for Webcam forum at 3DPB.com.[Source: ZDNet]
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