If you own your very own 3D printer or at least have access to one through something like school then a very simple project that you can do is make your own scope caps. For those unfamiliar with the process, all you have to do is create a 3D model of a pair of scope caps through programs like Autodesk’s Inventor or Dassault Systèmes’s Solidworks and then save that 3D model as a STL file and then print them off with a 3D printer. There are a variety of 3D printers but the ones I’m referring to would be the type that creates models by melting layers of plastic filament into a given shape.
The caps I made were printed with blue PLA filament from a fairly small and old model 3D printer. As far as I can tell PLA, or polylactic acid, is stronger and less fragile than ABS plastic so that is why I choose it. After a year of owning these there aren’t showing any age. There is no fraying of layers going on or brittleness developing but it isn’t like I let them sit in direct sunlight for weeks on end which would corrupt many plastics.
I set out to make them for a scope I had that didn’t come with any scope covers. This lack of covers allowed dust and other foreign bits to land on the lens which obscured the clarity of the optic. Having no scope caps also meant that serious physical damage could occur to the lens since there would literally be nothing in the way of whatever threatened to scratch or break the glass of the lenses.
Making these caps was a simply process.
- Measure the diameter of the ocular bell and the objective bell
- Start two 3D models with dimensions that are about 0.007″ larger than the actual measurements
- Model the remaining features of the scope caps to your liking
- Save the 3D model as a STL file
- Take it to someone with a 3D printer
- Print and alter the 3D part file as needed
- Tether the newly made scope caps together with paracord
Thank you for reading this article. Now if you have any questions or comments then go ahead and post them in comment section down below. I will try to answer any question as soon as I can.