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DSLR Shoulder Rig

by flummer, published

DSLR Shoulder Rig by flummer Sep 7, 2012

Description

This thing is a 3D printed shoulder rig for DSLR cameras to help stabilize when shooting video.

I'm using the industry standard aluminum pipe size and spacing, so it should be possible to combine these printed parts with commercially available parts and/or rigs, though I have only tried that once with a part for a friends rig.

All the parts are designed in OpenSCAD and those source files are included below, in case you want to modify the parts to work with other pipes, differently sizes screw, etc.

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It depends on where you are. In Europe, you can probably get it in the local hardware store, I think I paid about $10 for 1m here in Denmark, but in the States, it's a bit more tricky. If you don't need compatibility with pro rail systems, you can go with something like 1/2 inch from Home Depot, but you will need to modify the models a bit, or make spacers.

Where can I get this tube for cheap? I want to make one for my brother as a gift.

I finally got a DSLR camera, so I was *finally* able to post my "i made one" photo. :D

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Instructions

To print a rig like the one on the picture, you will need to print:

- 1 pcs. camera_plate.stl
- 2 pcs. std_clamp_b.stl
- 2 pcs. dual_parallel_std_clamp_a.stl
- 1 pcs. std_clamp_handle_holder_30deg.stl
- 1 pcs. std_clamp_handle_guide_30deg.stl
- 1 pcs. std_clamp_handle_holder_-30deg.stl
- 1 pcs. std_clamp_handle_guide_-30deg.stl
- 1 pcs. shoulder_holder_160.stl go shoulder_sholder_320
- 2 pcs. shoulder_holder_bracket.stl

In addition to the parts on this thing, you will also need a bunch (16 pcs for the pictured rig) of these (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:11848) little thumb screws by Habbycam. It's designed for 1/4 inch, but I'm using them with M6 without any major problems.

You will also need some aluminum pipes. The main pipes have an outer diameter of 15mm and the two handle pieces have an outer diameter of 20mm. I have found that the fairly cheap ones in the local hardware store can vary in dimensions, but it's what I use in my rig. Some times you will need to trim the parts a little bit to fit the pipe, at other times you might need to adjust the drawings (via the OpenSCAD files) for fit your pipes.

The foam handles are for a kids bike and also from the local hardware store. The foam shoulder pad is just a left over piece of foam that has been covered in nylon cloth and mounted in the shoulder piece with velcro.

To put everything together you will also need some screws and nuts. I use M6 for everything except mounting of the Manfrotto sliding plate, that one is mounted with 4 pcs M4 screws and lock nuts.

Screws needed:

- You will need an M6 hex screw for each thumbscrew. 4 pcs. in 40mm (for the shoulder holder and handles), 10 pcs. 30mm
- 4 pcs. countersunk M6 screws (to mount the camera plate
- 20 pcs. M6 nuts
- 4 pcs. M4 20mm screws with M4 lock nuts (for mounting the Manfrotto 357 plate)

I am using a MANFROTTO 357 SLIDING PLATE ADAPTOR to mount the camera, but if you don't want that or want to use a different quick release plate, I have added holes in the middle of the camera plate for a 1/4 inch screw (with thumbscrew) that mates with the camera tripod mount or quick release plate.

In addition to the rig itself, I have also added a few parts to hold an audio recorder like the Zoom H4n (h4n_holder.stl and h4n_mounting_clamp.stl) and a little clip to hold the camera strap in case you use one of those (strap_clip.stl).

The lasercut_parts.pdf file holds two designs for cutouts in 2mm corc. Those are intended to be glued onto the camera plate and the H4n holder, to help ensure a good grip without scratching the mounted equipment. When mounting the Manfrotto plate, you don't need this corc piece.

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Comments

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robo_kid22 on Nov 24, 2013 said:

Where can I get this tube for cheap? I want to make one for my brother as a gift.

flummer on Nov 25, 2013 said:

It depends on where you are. In Europe, you can probably get it in the local hardware store, I think I paid about $10 for 1m here in Denmark, but in the States, it's a bit more tricky. If you don't need compatibility with pro rail systems, you can go with something like 1/2 inch from Home Depot, but you will need to modify the models a bit, or make spacers.

stevecooley on Aug 21, 2013 said:

I finally got a DSLR camera, so I was *finally* able to post my "i made one" photo. :D

kwixson on Jul 13, 2013 said:

How long should the rods be for the rig as pictured?

flummer on Jul 13, 2013 said:

The two 15mm rods below the camera are about 20cm and the two going back to the shoulder piece roughly 60cm. If you want to put counter weight it's nice to have them a little longer, but if you don't, you can make them a bit shorter.

The 20mm tube for the right handle is also about 20cm and the tube for the left one is close to 30cm. The two handles are the most critical when it comes to personalization, as they somewhat depends on body size and arm length.

My rig has been lend out at the moment, so the above dimensions is from memory, but I don't think they are far off. When I made the rig, I just cut different lengths and started assembling.

Hope it helps, but feel free to ask again!

/Thomas

coreyac on Feb 17, 2013 said:

I made some spacers so that I could use 1/2 round rod from home depot. 15mm rods on Amazon are $20+ but 36 inches of half inch tube are only $7

http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

http://www.homedepot.com/Tools...

Rukey on Sep 17, 2012 said:

Great job! You can use this http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

flummer on Sep 17, 2012 said:

Cool, have you tried to print it? Does it work well with a 1-3 kg camera load without breaking?

stevecooley on Sep 11, 2012 said:

16 thumbscrews? Ok, but I hate waiting for warmup and cooldown. here, print a bunch at once, then do it again.. 16+2 extra thumbscrews. http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

flummer on Sep 11, 2012 said:

To begin with, I printed them one at a time, but didn't wait for cool down in-between prints, just started the next print right after the other was removed from the plate.

Lately, I have been trying out the plate feature in slic3r, where multiple are printed, but one at a time. It does take more space, since you need to have separation that give room for the print head, but for these thumbscrews it works pretty well.

MarcusWolschon on Sep 10, 2012 said:

Looks unbalanced without a counter-weight.

As often I recommend a tapper on the parts to make insertion of the rods easier.

(Complexity has no cost with 3d printers.)

What allowance did you use on the holes?

flummer on Sep 10, 2012 said:

I have experimented with counterweight on the back and about 4kg works pretty good with a Nikon D800 with 24-70 optics, but it highly depends on what you are shooting.

At work we use it to shoot model airplanes, helicopters, etc. that fly around at various heights, and adding another 4kg. in the back makes it very heavy when pointing the camera up in the air.

But I'll probably make a piece to hold some counter weight, just haven't done it yet.

Tapering could b
e an idea. None of the pieces use it now, and I don't think that has added any major problems, but tolerances is tricky, not least because of the relatively cheap aluminum tubes I'm using... the outer diameter simply isn't the same from tube to tube.

On most drawings I have used something like 0.1
mm allowance, but that might only work with the tubes I have.

BradDudenhoffer on Sep 8, 2012 said:

So many greaet parts. Thank you!

stevecooley on Sep 8, 2012 said:

A couple-few of these parts are too big for my thing-o-matic, so I'm working on split versions. As soon as I have something that works well, I'll post a derivative here.

stevecooley on Sep 13, 2012 said:

I bought my aluminum tubes yesterday... dammit, US imperial measurement system! why u no evolve into metric!? So, I have 3/4" and 1/2" OD tubes. So I'm going to have to adjust the drawings and reprint... no big deal. Should be fine... or I could print some adapters. I'll make it work.

stevecooley on Sep 9, 2012 said:

hey, my initial round of printing tests have gone well. Photos tomorrow.

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