An almost simple tutorial about how to make a streamline cover for common FPV board cameras.
What you need for a 38mmx38mm camera cover:
- Block of Balsa wood 40mmx40mmx60mm(or any other, but Balsa is easy to shape)
- Sand paper (240)
- Glass fibre fabric
- Epoxy resin, the one for glassing purpose (not any fast curing Epoxy!)
- 2-component silicon rubber RTV/NV, 500g can
- Polyethylene film (Cling wrap)
- a Tetra pak 70mmx70mm, height minimum 70mm (milk pack)
- Temperature controlled stove (optional)
- Dremel or similar
Read at least once before you start. Don’t hurry, take your time.
- First you need the Balsa block. A good start is to take measurements on the camera and draw some guide lines on the block. Trim the block roughly in shape with a sharp knife and sand until you have the desired finish.
- For the mold cut the Tetra pak in height to around 100mm. Pour roughly 300-400g silicon rubber in the Tetra pak. The final height of my rubber mold is around 70mm. Do not add hardener before!
Prepare some tooling to press and hold the Balsa block in position inside the Tetra pak, otherwise it will float on top of the liquid silicon rubber.
Add hardener to the silicon rubber in the Tetra pak. Be careful: To less and this stuff will never cure, to much and it will cure within seconds while you are still mixing.
After good mixing press the Balsa block into the mixture and use the prepared tooling to keep it down and in position.
There should be around 10mm of the block left out of the mixture.
Don’t touch the mould until the silicone rubber is cured completely.
- When the silicone rubber is cured, screw a wooden screw in the middle of the Balsa block.
Carefully peel the block out of the rubber, gently pull on the screw and work the rubber block a bit to free the Balsa.
- Cut the Tetra pak down to the size of the rubber block. The mold is now ready to use. Remove the screw from the block.
- For a single camera cover you need a piece of glass fibre fabric in size of around 200mmx200mm. I used a single layer of heavy and dense fabric.
- Put a big piece of cling wrap on the bench (baking paper works too). On top the piece of glass fiber.
- Mix a good amount of epoxy resin. I used roughly 8g for a single cover.
- Soak the piece of glass fibre. Make sure you spread the epoxy equally. Wait some minutes until the glass fiber is soaked completely.
- Center the piece of glass fibre on top of the mold.
- Wrap the Balsa block in cling wrap. With the block push the glass fibre gently into the mold. Make sure the glass fibre is spread equally inside the mold.
- Use a big hobby clamp to keep some gentle pressure on the block. Not to much. The rubber block should not deform.
- Keep the mold at rest until the epoxy is cured completely. Optional: Use an electrical stove with temperature control and bake the mold. I used 30min at 100°C. Do not apply more than 100°C, better less.
- When everything is cured you can peel the camera cover out of the mold.
Put the screw back into the Balsa block. Now work the rubber block a bit and gentle pull the Balsa block together with the cover out of the rubber.
Now pull the Balsa block out of the cover. The cling wrap keeps sticking. Just peel it off the covers inside.
- Cut the rest of glass fibre from the cover. Make the hole for the lens (don’t use a drill but a Dremel with grinder).
- Last, sand the outside of the cover a bit, apply spray filler and paint as desired.
That’s it. You are done.
Finally after spray filler and some paint: