Bellows project tailor-made for you

The above application will create a .pdf file with the design of a bellows according to the specified measures. Below you have an example of how the file looks like. It is possible to print the design on paper and transfer it to the bellows material or, perhaps more practical and precise, to use a laser cutting or creasing machine directly on the material of the bellows.

The drawing is already on the 1: 1 scale, that is, if it is printed, creased or cut, it will already be in the correct size to make the bellows. It also has 15% of over size on bellows’ extension. So provide the actual El measure as per the drawing.

  1. The black lines correspond to the folds lines and serve for the option in which the folds of the bellows will be creased. It is the general case of small bellows made with papers that, for example, imitate leather.
  2. The red lines correspond to the cut lines to create the bellows’ “ribs” or stiffeners, the ribs that ensure the fold happen in the correct place. It is the commonly adopted option when the bellows material is very soft and needs to be structured, such as fabric, leather or leather imitations, for example. This happens more often in cases of large format bellows.
  3. The text in blue is to be engraved or printed to make it easier to identify and position the ribs after they have been cut. There are also measurements and a scale for checking it was printed with correct size.
  4. The example drawing below has 5 sides. This allows you to choose how and where to cut the face where the joint will be. The green lines suggest where to make the joint. You have to cut a bit beyond them in order to get your desired overlap. Bear in mind that when you shape the sheet like a tube, if you make the two green lines come together, you will get a perfect joint. The 5-sided option is virtually mandatory for bellows that will be creased. Bellows that will have ribs cut and mounted on a base can be printed with only 4 sides. The advantage of printing 4 sides is that in the case of larger bellows the size of the sheet will be smaller (the side marked E is eliminated) and it will be easier to find suppliers with smaller laser cutting tables. In addition, the cutting service tends to cost less for a smaller design.

How to make it once you have the right drawing

There are many techniques and strategies that vary according to the size and finish you may plan to your bellows. You will find a couple of tutorials discussing those different ways. But I recommend you to have a look on this video from Lost Light Photography channel. You will find there a very good workflow for a bellows using an inner fabric, paper ribs and an outer cover.


Terms & Conditions

  1. The price of a project, whatever its size, is USD 5.00.
  2. No need to have Pay Pal account, one can pay with almost any credit card within the Pay Pal environment.
  3. Check the measurements in advance. It will not be possible to get another project without  new payment.
  4. The project comes by email in a link to download or open in the browser and save later. The file is very small and has in general less than 200 Kb. For those who do not remember, this is the same as 0.2 Mb.
  5. It will be archived and, in case of loss, you can request a new copy within a week. For this you need to have the project number and get in touch through the contact link above on main menu. After this time, it may even happen that it is still available but do not count on that.
  6. The design is for individual use and non-transferable. The low value charged aims to allow broad access to photographers worldwide and serves to help in the maintenance and expansion of the site. Please do not distribute or share it.

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