As a macro photography enthusiast, I'm constantly looking for ways to improve lighting small objects. In addition to a true macro lens (I use a Sigma 105mm F/2.8 macro), an appropiate flash diffuser helps improve the picture quality immensely. There are many off-the-shelf products, but it also depends on your shooting style and lens. For example, a lot of macro photographers use a ring-flash, lighting the object from the front-end of the lens. However, I prefer a single light source coming from above my subject. I previously used diffusers folded from cardboard and softened the light with a paper towel. It worked, but it didn't last very long (....it dropped in the lake).

Naturally, this was a job for 3D printing. I extracted the shape of the flash I use (Canon 580EX II), and I designed the flash diffuser in 3D CAD, and 3D printed my own, custom (waterproof) diffuser. The shape itself is considerably simple, one main rectangular extrusion to hold onto the flash head, and rounded rectangular, lofted pyramid. I printed this particular prototype with 2 perimeter shell layers (that's actually 4 layers total), which is strong, but a little heavy. I may print another one in the future thats half the weight / half the wall thickness.

I lined the inside with aluminum foil tape, I thought that would be the cleanest way to make the inside reflective. The white cover is also printed, but not mandatory. I think any material that softens the light should do fine.

Balonbay 3D Printing Canon 580EX II Macro Flash Diffuser

Balonbay 3D Printing Canon 580EX II Macro Flash Diffuser

Balonbay 3D Printing Canon 580EX II Macro Flash Diffuser

Balonbay 3D Printing Canon 580EX II Macro Flash Diffuser

Balonbay 3D Printing Canon 580EX II Macro Flash Diffuser
Balonbay 3D Printing Canon 580EX II Macro Flash Diffuser
Balonbay 3D Printing Canon 580EX II Macro Flash Diffuser
Balonbay 3D Printing Canon 580EX II Macro Flash Diffuser
Balonbay 3D Printing Canon 580EX II Macro Flash Diffuser
Balonbay 3D Printing Canon 580EX II Macro Flash Diffuser
Balonbay 3D Printing Canon 580EX II Macro Flash Diffuser
Balonbay 3D Printing Canon 580EX II Macro Flash Diffuser