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