Medium Format camera body

Hi guys
First of all, thank you to all of you. The forum is a good place to start, and help a lot so i got a straight learning curve.

I purchased the Nomad in January this year to build cameras. To be specific, analogue & digital medium and large format cameras.
After a few weeks of waiting I received my Nomad and I start learning to mill,… and learning to use CAD,… and CAM,… and so on.
So in the last 4 Months my workshop grow and I learned so many things.
Yesterday I finished the first part I’m pleased with. It is the main body for a fiexed focus deep infra-red medium format camera.

The main problem was to achieve a total planar surface to prevent the optics from tilting. The second problem was to get the focus distance within tolerance. An error of 0.1 mm will produce a focus difference of 30 meter (with this lens; yes very wide).

The camera is not finished yet, I need a better digital back adapter (of course home made :wink: ) and the body need a lot of threads to hold the accessories.

The work was done in 10 different cuts, mostly with the 3 flute 0.250 inch end mill sells. I speed in total 26 h of milling for this part. It was cut out of a 120 x 120 x 20 mm block of AW 6060.
You see the final part on the pictures, before sanding and polish.


And last, here is a video with some impressions

Hope to tell you more very soon
Best regrads from Switzerland


That looks amazing! I’m curious. I was under the impression that the Nomad didn’t really have the torque to use 1/4" end mills on metal. Did you try 1/8" first? If so, I’m assuming the 1/4" was faster or was there another reason?
Great work,

It looks good. Thanks for sharing.

I bet 24 hours of cutting was a bit painful. You might want to consider a Shapeoko3. Its not as accurate as the Nomad (probably +/-.007" vs 0.003" for the Nomad) but the SO3 can cut about 10x as fast and 16x as large.

Thanks again for sharing your work. Its nice to see more innovation here.

Yes I consider the Shapeoko 3, but I need the accuracy (I need at least 0.003) and since I got no experience I choose the “out of the box solution”. (And i’m very happy with my Nomad :slight_smile: )

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I started to use the 0.25 mills for face grinding.
Since the driver board replacement and the pulley (brass) upgrade the Nomad is real Powerful.
The only weak spot is plunging. Even with 4 mm/Min it sounds uncomfortable.
I will try the next part with an 0.25 ball mill, that hopefully solve the problem.

If you need .003" accuracy then the Nomad is the right choice. Its pretty much right on every time. The SO3 can get that close but not reliably from project to project. It requires tweaking model dimensions.

I haven’t tried it myself (I’ve only used 1/8" and smaller cutters on my Nomad) but I’ve heard you can remove material just as quickly with a 1/8" cutter. You just move twice as fast or take twice as deep of a cut. @WillAdams, @Randy or @mbellon may know a lot more about that than I do.

What kind of digital backs are you using? I have a bunch of old medium format stuff (mostly Pentax 6x7) and hadn’t seen any reasonably priced options for digital backs. I’m only shooting as a hobby now so I can’t justify spending a fortune just to make really, really, really nice wall art. Well, I can’t justify it to my wife anyway. Are you using existing backs or using some sort of CCD package that you can adapt for your uses? Very cool project!

I own a Phase One P45+ (modified by Phase One to Full Spectrum response)
and since a few weeks a FlexFrame 3020 just to test my setup.


Gorgeous. Never going to be able to convince the wife… :slight_smile:

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I have a late model Pro. Maybe I already have the latest driver (it does seem fairly powerful except for plunging.) I did install the 78 Watt spindle motor upgrade and have noticed a little more torque. I am performing test cuts in steel this week and will report my findings.



After done the paintwork and put the camera camera together, it is time to do some shoots. The camera got an 39 megapixel digital back with a schneider 24mm apo lens attached. The focus is fixed, and in the middle of the camera is an infrared filter installed.

Here is some test footage:

Zürich Switzerland

Tuscany Siena

Tuscany pine-trees near the coast