Podcast Episode

The Lensrentals Podcast Episode #5 – How Lensrentals Uses 3D Printing

Published October 17, 2019

Each week Roger Cicala, founder of Lensrentals.com, hosts conversations about the art and science of capturing images. From photography to videography, film, history, and technology, the show covers a wide range of topics to educate and inspire creators of all kinds.


Discussion with Kris Steward about 3D Printing:

This week on the Lensrentals podcast, Roger sat down with Kris Steward, who runs the 3D printing department at Lensrentals.com. Kris sits down and talks with Roger on everything 3D printing – from purchasing your first printer to how Lensrentals.com uses 3D printing to replace, repair, and build various products for our rental department. 

That’s right, it may come as a surprise to some of our readers, but we have a full-fledged 3d printing department that we use to make various products to help supplement our rentals. Some examples of these products include 3d printing memory card holders for our customers, to repairing products we’ve found with flaws in their initial launch. By using 3D printing, we’re able to improve products, and build out otherwise difficult to find cases for small things such as filters, memory cards, and more.

So to help explain how we use 3D printing, Kris walks us through which printers we use at the office, and what they’re often printing 24 hours a day. Kris also talks about his preferred filament for 3d printing, polyethylene terephthalate glycol, or more commonly known as PETG. PETG is often used for its higher durability when compared to Polylactic Acid (PLA) filament. In addition to durability, PETG is also used for its much higher temperature tolerance. PETG maintains its solidity at temperatures up to 75ºC (167ºF), which is much higher than PLA filament at 55ºC (131ºF). This increase of tolerance is particularly important when the product is sitting in a box in the back of a hot FedEx trunk in the summer. For a more complete breakdown of PETG vs PLA filament, be sure to check out this article from our friends at All3dp.com.

If you’re just getting started in 3d printing, and you’re looking for a good 3d printer, Kris recommends looking into the Prusa I3 MK3S – one of the same machines that are used in the Lensrentals.com office. But if your budget is under $1,000, Kris says there are a lot of options and recommendations available on the internet – though he has no experience with those machines. Kris also recommends you use Fusion 360 for your introduction to CAD software unless you’re already experienced in CAD software. Not only does Fusion 360 offer a visual workflow on what you’re building, but the software is also completely free for those who are printing noncommercially.


Spotlight on the Panasonic S1

Senior Photo Tech Joey Miller talks about one of his favorite cameras – the Panasonic S1. The Panasonic S1 is an answer to those who have an interest in the Panasonic GH5, but hate the micro4/3rds form factor. The Panasonic S1 is an L-mount full-frame mirrorless system that offers 24.2MPs, and 4K capture at up to 60fps. By implementing the L-mount, the Panasonic S1 gives you the freedom of lenses and offers a wide variety of Leica glass to be mounted to the system with ease.



00:30 – Introduction to Kris Stewart

01:00 – How Kris got started in 3D printing

02:15 – How Lensrentals.com got into 3d printing parts of cameras and so on.

02:45 – Kris sit down and talks about the various things that we 3D print for Lensrentals.com

04:30 – Kris goes over the various printers that we have here at Lensrentals.com

05:10 – Discussing the various products that can be used as filament for 3d printing, and why Kris prefers polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG)

06:10 – How we use 3D printing to replace commonly lost items

09:00 – Roger talks about one of the expensive repairs that 3D printing could solve with ease

11:00 – Kris talks about some of his favorite things he’s 3d printed for Lensrentals.com

12:00 – Spotlight on the Panasonic S1

16:10 – Why we have different 3d printers for different uses

17:40 – Kris goes over his history with 3d printers, and finding the best ones for the job

18:30 – Kris talks about what software you should be using in conjunction with 3d printers

21:20 – What Kris would recommend as a great starter 3d printer

23:45 – What CAD software you should start with if you’re getting into 3d printing

24:50 – Which filament you should use for 3d printing, and why

27:10 – Exploring different 3D printing services available for those who want things 3d printed, but don’t want to buy a 3d printer

30:15 – Where the future of 3D printing stands, from Kris’ perspective


The Lensrentals Podcast is a production of Lensrentals, founded by Roger Cicala. Our production staff includes Drew Cicala, Ryan Hill, Sarah McAlexander, SJ Smith, Julian Harper, John Tucker, and Zach Sutton. Other contributors include Roger Cicala, Joey Miller, Ally Aycock Patterson, Joshua Richardson, and Philip Robertson.

Thanks to Jacques Granger for our theme song.

Submit a topic idea, question, or comment, leave us a voicemail at 901-609-LENS, or send us an email at podcast@lensrentals.com.


Author: Lensrentals

Articles written by the entire editorial and technical staff at LensRentals.com. These articles are for when there is more than one author for the entire post, and are written as a community effort.

Posted in Podcast Episode
  • Benz Oberst

    Sounds fascinating, I’ve been debating getting a Prusa for a while now.

    PS. I tossed as many as 500 old filter cases over the past few months – simply because I did not know what to do with them.

  • JP

    Would love to hear you guys talk about those items the shop loves but customers never seem to rent and why the shop loves them. Maybe we customers just don’t know what we don’t know?

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