7 DIY Hacks to Doodle for Your Camera

Whether you’re a professional photographer, photo-hobbyist, or like getting the perfect shot for your Instagram, you’ve probably invested time and money in your cameras and equipment. As with any investment, you want to protect your kit and make sure you get the most out of it.

With that in mind, we’ve put together these lifesaving hacks that you can DIY with your 3Doodler to extend the life of your gear. From top-of-the-line gear or a single point-and-shoot, we’ve got the fixes for you!

1. Repair a Cracked Lens Cap

A Doodled fix can save a cracked lens cap
One of the most important components of any camera – and often the most expensive part – is the lens. Keeping your lens as pristine as possible is a necessity, but the lens cap can too often be lost or broken.

A cracked cap that no longer grips onto your lens is just as bad as a lost lens cap. That’s where adding plastic with the 3Doodler, while holding the pieces together saves the day – and possibly hundreds to thousands of dollars for a new lens.

2. Replace a Lost Lens Cap

Lost your lens cap altogether? Doodle a new one to custom fit your lens!

1. Hold the lens flat on a piece of paper and trace the circular outer edge.
2. Using ABS or PLA, fill the inside of the circle with 3Doodled plastic. Tip: Make it smooth and solid by moving your hand in slow, steady, and consistent lines. Hold it up against a light when you’re done to see if there are any gaps or holes that need to be filled in.
3. Place some aluminium foil over the end of the lens and Doodle around the outer edge using FLEXY plastic. Make sure that there are no gaps or holes in the cap so that no dust or dirt can get in.
4. Hold the flat circular piece you’ve created to the FLEXY ring and use some more FLEXY and Doodle the two pieces together. Add some FLEXY further down the sides of the lens to make sure that it stays in place. Tip: Be sure to add lots of plastic when connecting the pieces together, as you want them to be very solid and sealed up nice and tight.

3. Doodle Yourself a New Tripod

With a bit of patience there’s no reason why you can’t create a whole new custom tripod using the 3Doodler! We recommend ABS plastic for the best rigidity. We whipped up this smartphone tripod, with adjustable legs and FLEXY feet to keep it standing right in place.

A custom tripod matches any model phone.

4. Repair a Broken Tripod Adjustment Knob

Repair the grip, reattach the knob, or Doodle a new one.

Whether you’re using a DSLR with a telephoto lens or your smartphone, the tripod is an invaluable asset. With all the adjustable parts, a broken knob can be a real pain! With your 3Doodler and your choice of ABS, PLA, or FLEXY, you can fix a broken knob, repair the rubber grip like in the photo below, or if it’s fallen off just Doodle a completely new one right on to the end of the screw. If your new Doodled piece is loose, simply add a little extra plastic and adjust your tripod to the perfect angle for your next great shot.

5. Replace a Missing Tripod No-Slip Bed

FLEXY is perfect for creating a non-slip surface.

Got an old, but quality tripod with just a minor issue? Make it new again with a few Doodled repairs! The one below lost the rubber bed that the camera rests on – without it, the mounting screw won’t tighten and the camera remains loose. A fix that’s quick but lasting is to create a small washer with ABS or PLA plastic which works as a perfect spacer to hold the camera firmly in place.

Want to take this fix a bit further? Using FLEXY, recreate the original piece and affix it back onto the tripod for good!

Tip: Place a piece of paper over the top of the tripod and sketch a stencil outline to work from.

6. Replace a Strap Adjuster

If you’ve got one camera, two cameras, or a whole bag full of them, chances are you’re dealing with a few straps, each one of them with at least one clip or adjuster. Breaking one can seem like the end of the line, but with your 3Doodler you’ve got an easy way to DIY your strap as good as new.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1. Doodle a letter “E” with horizontal lines as long as the width of your strap.
2. Slide the “E” over the strap so the prongs are arranged like they were with the original piece.
3. Doodle a straight line down, connecting the the three points of the “E” and securing your straps in place. Tip: Make sure to Doodle this piece nice and thick, and ensure that the plastic really melts to itself so that it is sturdy and holds the straps in place.

7. Repair or Reinforce Cables

Cables, cables, everywhere! Whether charging cables or the cords for your lighting setup, these are the veins that power your gear. Your gear can’t work without cables, and neither can you!

That’s why it’s crucial to give them support when they show any signs of wear and tear. A bit of FLEXY around the stem of a damaged cable can reinforce it and make it even stronger than before.

A bit of fLEXY does the trick to keep your cables from cracking.

Repairing and replacing parts with the 3Doodler also serves as a way of customizing and identifying your gear in no time at all! Then again if you’re looking to keep things on the down low, you can match colors or use black filament so that your repairs won’t even be noticed.

Show us your DIY hacks by tagging us @3Doodler and using #3Doodler and #WhatWillYouCreate

Creative Couture in 3D

"And now, I’m just trying to change the world, one sequin at a time."-Lady Gaga

Sequins may not be what 3Doodler is all about, but just like Lady Gaga we’re looking to change things – one strand at a time!

Our community has shown us time and again how 3D elements can mix with fashion design to create something new and wonderful for wearable art. And the entries we saw for our 2016 3Doodler Wearable Award presented a runway of fashion-forward Doodles unlike any we had ever seen.

"Playing dress-up begins at age five and never truly ends."-Kate Spade

Fashion is a form of creative and personal expression. This is exactly what Carolyn Laing showed us with her incredibly detailed Doodled bra. The hot pink and black color combination, along with the rocker-chic style really shows off the creative personality behind this bra.

"Fashion should be a form of escapism, and not a form of imprisonment."-Alexander McQueen

And what better form can escapism take than with masks? These delicately Doodled masks by Heather Baharally showed the many different faces fashion can take. Starting with one basic pattern, Heather showed how creativity and imagination can lead to so much more when you think outside the template. With a designers eye, fashion can be transformative – just like with these masks which transform the wearer into something else completely!

"People will stare. Make it worth their while."-Harry Winston

Erica Grey has shown us before how the worlds of fine art and fashion can blend with wearable works of art. For this year’s 3Doodler Awards, she showed us a different side to her Doodled collection. The golden headpiece and matching corset she presented looks fit for a queen, and is part of Erica’s new bridal collection. Wedding fashion is becoming increasingly daring as brides look for styles which reflect their own personalities, and Erica’s pieces show how customized 3D pieces can create the ultimate statement!

"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different."-Coco Chanel

And different is always what we’re looking for. Seeing our creative community break boundaries and Doodle outside the lines is always exciting for us, especially when the results are as stunning as this.

Aikaterini Kedikoglou took inspiration from coral reefs, but the incredible necklace she created not only managed to capture the beauty of nature, but went beyond simple representation with it’s creative form and carefully matched colors. While each individual element may seem simple enough, the piece as a whole showed us a design and form we had never seen before – securing her the win for the Wearable Award.

"Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you."-Ralph Lauren

Creativity and fashion can go hand-in-hand, and while you can always look to the world around you for inspiration, a true unique style can only come from you.

So get creative, and show us what your inner fashionista can do!

How the Living World Inspires Creativity

Nature has been a source of inspiration for artists, writers, architects and designers for centuries. As Henry David Thoreau once stated, “we can never have enough of nature.” And it’s clear that our 3Doodler community feels the same!

The entries for the Living World category for our 2016 3Doodler Awards showed us not only the diversity of our community, but also how each person can take different inspiration from the same concept. From the ocean to the air, our Doodlers showed us the best of what the Living World has to offer, and the variety of ways the spirit of each creature can be shown through artistic expression with the 3Doodler.

Under the Sea

Inspired by the hundreds of different fish species that can be found at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, our Living World Award winner Yuval Mor showcased the thriving ecosystem that can be found beneath the waves.

Yuval wasn’t the only one who dove deep to find creative inspiration. Mindy Nam’s wireframe octopus took a more minimalist and abstract approach to capturing the spirit of her subject. With clean lines and the stunning addition of glow-in-the-dark details, Mindy’s octopus shows off the sometimes hidden side of nature’s beauty.

"… I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?"-Vincent Van Gogh

All Creatures Great and Small

Our community of Doodlers showed us that size isn’t what matters when it comes to inspiring subjects. Even the smallest spider, like the one below from Yuval Mor, or this grasshopper and lady bug from Eduardo Pires can be a source for creativity!

But larger creatures can also leave a big impact. We saw many incredible creations inspired by the variety of life on land, like this elephant from Jonathan Breibart with artistic Doodled details.

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."-Albert Einstein

Fowl is Fair

But our community couldn’t be limited by gravity of course, and many chose to let their creativity take flight with winged subjects.

Diogo Nunes de Sousa chose two iconic birds of the rainforest to celebrate the colorful diversity found with our feathered friends.

And Levittown Public Library showed us the power of creativity in education with a carefully constructed peacock, which they named Rajiv.

"Art is the child of nature in whom we trace the features of the mothers face."-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Gone but not Forgotten

Our world has been around for billions of years, and has seen creatures that may not be living now but were an important part of the history of life on our planet.

Paul Mahoney chose to take inspiration from the living world of long ago, with this Allosaur which he named “Allie”.

"To an artist, there is never anything ugly in nature."-Auguste Rodin

Inspiration is all Around

When looking for your next creative project, simply look to the world around you. From the ocean to the skies, our living world is filled with inspiring animals and creatures both in the present and the past.

Get creative, and find new ways to show the spirit of your subjects!

"It is the marriage of the soul with Nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination."-Henry David Thoreau

The 2016 3Doodler Awards: Winners

The 2016 3Doodler Awards saw some incredible entries across the board. All eight categories had fierce competition, and it was a tough order for the judges to choose the winners. We took votes from the 3Doodler team, along with input and votes from top members of our 3Doodler community to reach a decision on the final winners and runners up.

The 3Doodler Macro Award Winner: Cornelia Kuglmeier

Cornelia has always impressed us with her creative and carefully constructed Doodles, but this year she went above and beyond. This 50cm (19.5 inch) European Peacock Butterfly took Cornelia 40 hours to complete. She used different nozzles to great effect to get the exquisite detail of each hair, strand and scale on the butterfly’s wings and body. To Doodle such an incredible piece is no small feat, and was top pick for our Macro Award.

The 3Doodler Macro Award Runner Up: Jonathan Reycraft

Standing nearly five feet tall, Jonathan’s impressive marble tower shows incredible creativity and design engineering. The tower has two main entrances to drop a marble into, with five paths down the tower. “One path is a multi-level spiral route which passes through two separate funnels, the other winds around to a tiered steps dropping through each chute to the bottom,” Jonathan explains.

The 3Doodler Da Vinci Award Winner: Ala’ Fahmi Sawan

This Doodled robot which Ala’ Fahmi Sawan made for his daughter impressed our judges for its originality and creativity. Powered with a 9-volt battery, the robot has hand-made gears to make it move and propel it forward. We loved the innovation and completely unique design, giving it the edge as our Da Vinci winner.

The 3Doodler Da Vinci Award Runner Up: Eduardo Pires

Eduardo was inspired by the original Renaissance Man himself, and combined two of Da Vinci’s own inventions: the water wheel and the flying machine. “To make a Doodle that moves, I used the strength of the water to rotate the Water Wheel,” Eduardo explains. “The rotation movement is passed to the wheel axis. Coupled to this axis, a crankshaft is responsible for creating an oscillatory movement for the flapping of wings.”

The 3Doodler Micro Award Winner: Judith Tarres Benet

Judith’s adorable trio of tiny squirrels stole the judges hearts for our Micro Award. Not only did Judith manage to get a lot of detail onto her mini figures, she also set the scene with a stop-motion video showcasing the entire miniature scene.

The 3Doodler Micro Award Runner Up: Heather Baharally

Heather’s incredible miniature bee stunned us with its detail. So small it looks like it could fit on the tip of 3Doodler, Heather is queen bee when it comes to Doodling insects on the small scale.

The 3Doodler Start Fairy Tales Award Winner: Joanna Conant

For our first ever 3Doodler Start category, we saw some creative and whimsical entries. This dragon, named Roger, used both the Start Doodle-blocks as well as free-hand techniques to showcase how versatile the 3Doodler Start can be. Joanna even included a poem about her fearsome fairy-tale creation:

There once was a dragon named Roger

So brave and not frightened by danger

Then dozers barged in, and destroyed his garden

So Roger blew ’round lots of fire!

The 3Doodler Start Fairy Tales Award Runner Up: Heide Murray

Taking inspiration from Slavic folklore, Heide recreated the mythical chicken-legged house of Baba Yaga. This colorful recreation wonderfully captures the fairy-tale spirit and creativity of the 3Doodler Start.

The 3Doodler Interior Design Award Winner: Devin Montes

We saw some truly incredible entries in this ever-popular category. Voting was tight, but Devin’s creative use of a balloon to make a delicate and detailed lampshade with the 3Doodler Start put him on top. Devin’s eye for design and shapes helped him create a stunning lampshade that throws incredible shadows as it lights up the room, taking his creation to even further dimensions. You can watch how he made it on his YouTube channel.

The 3Doodler Interior Design Award Runner Up: Mindy Nam

Mindy’s impressive wireframe-style work is a great addition to any interior space. Blending nature with minimalist and abstract forms, Mindy’s tiger and bat wireframes show creativity, artistry, and a great sense of design.

The 3Doodler Living World Award Winner: Yuval Mor

For our most popular category of 2016, Yuval impressed us with an incredibly detailed coral reef. Inspired by the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, each fish is Doodled with care, along with the rock of the reef itself. Yuval has captured the movement and life of this reef scene perfectly, and coming out on top for our Living World Award.

The 3Doodler Living World Award Runner Up: Paul Mahoney

There’s just something about Paul’s Allosaur named “Allie”! Part ferocious, part adorable, Paul’s entry caught our judges eye. While we can’t know for sure exactly how dinosaurs looked or acted, we feel that Allie captures the spirit of imagination for the Living World.

The 3Doodler Single Strand Award Winner: Heather Baharally

We wanted to see just how far a single strand could go, and the entries for this category proved that just one strand could stretch even further than we imagined. Heather’s detailed golden flower ring showed off the detail and elegance that even one strand can give, earning her top spot for the Single Strand Award.

The 3Doodler Single Strand Award Runner Up: Yuval Mor

With just a single strand, Yuval created this simple and chic butterfly. We love the simplicity and clean lines, showcasing how sometimes less is more.

The 3Doodler Wearable Award Winner: Aikaterini Kedikoglou

The Wearable category is one of our most popular, and the entries are always a showcase of the incredible talent and creativity in our community. This year was no different, and Aikaterini stunned us with a Doodled necklace like nothing we had ever seen before. Inspired by coral reefs, Aikaterini used a repeating pattern in various shades to create an ocean-inspired work of wearable art.

The 3Doodler Wearable Award Runner Up: Erica Gray

We have featured Erica’s unique blend of fine art and fashion before, and for this year’s awards she impressed us yet again with this elegant Doodled bridal headdress fit for queen.

The 3Doodler “Doodler of The Year” Award

Cornelia Kuglmeier

Cornelia’s body of work throughout 2016 has been more than impressive. Her stunning origami crane got so much attention on social media, that she made a tutorial to show how it’s done. She Doodled a full scale model of the Sagrada Familia basilica, Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece in Barcelona. She even Doodled us the full 12 Days of Christmas!

And while Cornelia’s European Peacock Butterfly entry into the 2016 3Doodler Awards made all our jaws drop, her Instagram feed of Doodled flowers and other creations continues to show her incredible creativity, artistry, and amazing ability to capture detail in Doodles.

For all of her amazing Doodles over the course of 2016, we are proud to name Cornelia “Doodler of the Year.”

Thank you to all who participated!

We loved each and every entry for the 2016 3Doodler Awards, and can’t wait to see what our talented community will bring to the table for next year’s awards!

Learn more about the 3Doodler Awards