The Development Process
LEX needs a very narrow shutter to shoot with E-Mount lenses. To achieve that the camera is built around the shutter mechanism from another E-Mount camera, the Sony A7.
An idea begins to take shape
The very first test of the lens mount and the shutter box. It can just fit together.
The basic layout of the camera is starting to come together.
First working prototype
The first prototype was less than pretty. Despite looking like a bomb prop from a movie it actually worked (with the help of a little structural duct tape). LEDs were included for in field debugging.
First PCBs arrvive
The first set of test PCBs. The PCB is two parts in one. The left section is the button board. The right section is the camera motherboard containing the power transistors and break out wiring to the peripherals.
Prototypes are prototypes for a reason. In this case two legs of transistors were switched by accident. Some creative soldering worked around this problem and allowed prototyping to continue.
Assembly of the electrical loom
PCB layout is designed to optimize for ease of hand assembly. No SMD soldering required. Various components are on commercial break out boards.
Some parts for LEX need to be tough or stiff. To achieve this metal is the obvious choice. These are prototype winder knobs from two different experiments in prototype casting. Casting these parts allows us to make rapid low cost prototypes without having to design around the limitations of low cost CNC services.
Button and finishes tests
Buttons are difficult. The user interacts with them so they need to be perfect. Wobble or rattling is unacceptable but so is a button that is too hard to press. It took several prototypes to get the button fits just right.
Body in raw SLS Nylon
The body of the LEX in raw SLS nylon. This printing process allows for great surface finish with minimal post processing. Unfortunately it's quite transparent.
Prototype body complete
The prototype body in a complete working state. Metal parts are ZA2 alloy cast in house. (Tape for ease of reprogramming during firmware development). The Nylon parts have been dyed and coated to block ambient light.