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Tripod Cam-Lock Repair

by frubino, published

Tripod Cam-Lock Repair by frubino Dec 13, 2012
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Summary

The Cam-Locks on the Manfrotto tripod model 728B are prone to cracking due to a thin wall thickness. The body of the cam-lock sees a tremendous amount of stress which over time leads to a catastrophic failure (hopefully not when you have a $2000 DSLR mounted on it). In my opinion, a high-end tripod shouldn't have a $0.25 molded part that is prone to cracking and costs $15ea to replace.

The model I generated has a wall thickness of almost 4mm at its thinnest compared to the factory's 2mm. I haven't put it through temperature cycling and aging, but I am confident it will hold up better than the original.

Instructions

  1. Start from the smallest tube and replace one section at a time.
  2. Remove the rubber foot.
  3. Remove the old Cam-Locks by pushing out the brass pins with a hammer and drift (any punch or small screwdriver smaller than the pin diameter will work). Save the pins, the cam levers and the rectangular pressure block that falls out.
  4. Pull off the old Cam Lock body.
  5. Slip on the newly printed body. A rubber mallet helps, but it shouldn't be necessary. There is a rectangular hole in the tube....The opening in the cam-lock body should line up with the hole.
  6. Drop in the pressure block into the hole of the cam-lock body. The pressure block is slightly curved on one face....This should face the cam lever.
  7. Position the cam lever in the body with the lever in the open position. Press in the brass pin with a rubber mallet.
  8. Repeat for the remaining sections.

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Excellent Design. Easy, quick print. I just posted my make of the large camlock which repaired my Manfrotto 676B digii Monopod. This is much more robust than the original, which I found to my dismay was cracked all the way through in two places when it started slipping on me. It actually came off the leg segment in two pieces. Lesson learned - check them regularly for wear and damage before mounting expensive gear. I noticed some guy in Greece is selling printed replacements on Ebay, and figured the design was online - and was happy to find it here. It is a significant improvement over the original.

A couple of tips:

The Manfrotto part numbers for these three pieces are (large to small): R714.14, R714.16, R714.17. Google up a part list for your tripod or monopod and see if the part numbers are the same. They are used on many models.

Use a c-clamp or vise to press out the brass pin instead of driving it out with a punch. You will need to rig a drift on one side of the clamp (I used a Dremel mandrel) and will need a spacer with a hole in it on the other end to receive the pin (a piece of wood with a hole drilled in it works) . Not too hard to figure out.

Print with the blind (flanged) end down for best results. This requires you to flip the stl 180deg.

My first print was just slightly too tight. I had to scale up X and Y dimensions to 102% for a perfect fit. Too tight will stress the part and maybe lead to failure. Too loose and it may slip. Dial it in for your setup.

I used a single support in the cam lever slot. Maybe not necessary, but results in better fit. No cleanup at all necessary.

Has anybody tried to see if these locks work for the 785shb Mafrotto Modo Mini tripod? It has 4 locks instead of 3, but 3/4 might be good!

Will this work for manfrotto 790B?
http://shashinki.com/shop/images/MAN-790B-BOTTOM.jpg
And if not, is there a way that you can create it?

Thank you!!! :)

Not sure if the design will work for other Manfrottos as I only have access to 728B model. My advice is to print one of the assemblies and give it a try. If you don't have access to a printer, I can provide design and printing services to get you back and running. Let me know if you are interested.

Thanks

Frank
[email protected]

Thanks I used them on my 718B model. If anyone else does this, be sure to check measurements in advance. In the end I used the "medium" file as the biggest of three cam-locks and the small file as my medium cam-lock. Thanks Frubino. Great redesign. Not only a replica, but also just plain BETTER!

Great job on these! And saved me a lot of money!
See my Make for comments on how it went...

Al...

Awesome!
I was just about to start modelling these, but decided to have a quick search here and found someone has already done the (not insignifigant) work, and was willing to share.
Thanks muchly.. I'll try to remember to post back on how they work.

Thank you for the objects. I made one of them and it is perfect.

I have a 055MF4 tripod that I just got returned from manfrotto repair- the leg locking lever broke and they said they no longer make the part! They wanted me to trade it in for a new one (to the tune of $300)- instead of replacing $.10 of plastic....Do you know anyone who designs such things? I can supply an intact one as an example...

Hi. I'm about to buy 1 of the smaller clamps for the 728B tripod. $20 with shipping. Are you selling any?

caught in the similar situation. Don't know how to use the IGES files. Can you direct me to some site which can supply me these white clips you have made.? That might help me in saving my tripod from sure death. I bought it two days ago without knowing its delicate health.Two clips broke already. Thanks.

thx for this I was about to try and repair mine, will use this instead.

 Glad to help....I'll post IGES files first chance I get if you need to made any adjustments, but mine dropped in pretty easily.

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