Photography Kit

3D Printed Lens Caps to Protect your Camera Lenses

3d printed lens caps

Lens caps for camera lenses are vital to prevent damage to your equipment. But they often get lost; 3D printed lens caps to the rescue!

Printing in fancy colors makes sure no one takes your lens caps
Printing in fancy colors makes sure no one takes your lens caps

It’s very important to pamper all your precious camera lenses, to protect them from scratches, dust and filthy fingers. Treating your equipment with great care goes without saying. Any minor accident can cause damage worth hundreds of dollars, so typically photographic lenses are nothing to be trifled with.

If you use lens caps, your glass won’t get scratched in your camera bag, but as often as they get lost, you better have a few spare ones at home – or keep the 3D printing files prepared.

This springy 3D printable lens cap comes in handy for 49 and 52mm filter threads. This one has been modeled after Canon (or Sigma’s) lens caps. You can even 3D print a lens cap for your GoPro (which would only be reasonable if you transport it in a rougher environment than you use it in). Depending on the flexibility of your printing material, you will have to try both lens cap models. ABS is more flexible than PLA, and PET may work even better for the spring rings if available.

But lens caps are a thing that typically gets lost. Where do you put them? In the camera bag? Too inconvenient to do that each time. In your pocket? Better not, you may sit on them and they will collect fluff.

A good-looking solution to keep them when they’re not on the lens would be a 3D printed flip-open lens cap. All standard sizes from 49-88mm are included. You might think that sticking your lens caps to the lens itself is not the most elegant solution; the camera strap offers a good alternative place to put them. The lens cap for Nikon´s 18-55mm lens has a lug to tie it to the camera strap. A option to store various lens caps in 52mm 67mm 72mm and 77mm sizes can be attached to just about any strap. A design easy to scale and securely hold your lens caps in any size needed is the threaded parametric camera lens cap holder.

Three different sizes of the camera lens cap holder
Three different sizes of the camera lens cap holder

The rear lens cap on any lens you buy is usually plain black without any use than to protect the back lens (scratches here are more harmful than on the front element). 3D printed back lens caps that work for Canon, Nikon and Pentax and have the lense’s focal length embossed on the 3D print may help you

Protection even while you’re shooting

The oldschool square shape looks like a matte box used in filmmaking
The old school square shape looks like a matte box used in film-making

Do you know why you should use a lens hood all the time? It’s meant to block out light rays coming from out of the frame, but it’s also good for physical protection. If you bump into something with the lens, it won’t hit the glass first, and you can easily replace the hood.

You can find 3d printable models of the most common lens hoods online, such as the Canon EF-S 18-135 Lens Hoods (square and tulip shape) or the 3D printed lens hood for the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens.

Other models can usually be found online via the 3D model search engine