Stead i Cam

by frits297, published

Stead i Cam by frits297 Dec 3, 2011

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Video of the Stead i Cam in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PDLClM5rk5o

The Stead i Cam is designed by Frits Stam en Koen de Greef

features of the Stead i Cam:

  • removable / adjustable camera plate
  • design incorporates a feet for easy storage
  • weight swivels to compensate for an unbalanced camera
  • air bubble for leveling the camera
  • adjustable handle position with a screw thread which allows for very fine adjustments of the center of mass
  • light weight design

This project originated from the urge to create tools that help designers create professional results in times of budget cuts. With ‘Tools for Design’ we aim to create a community that helps in the development of instruments used in the design process. The Stead-I-Cam is an example of one of these tools. It supports smooth and professional moving video footage. It is created from a single sheet of laser-cut material, making it easy for any student to create and assemble. This open-source project cuts costs for such a professional tool and makes it accessible for every student / diy'er.

We love to see your own Stead i Cam so upload a picture of it!


  • get some bearings, lead weight a bicycle steer handle and a gimbal from an rc-store
  • laser cut the files on 3mm MDF
  • assemble laser cut parts
  • balance your steadycam
  • practice!
  • go film!

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This is a Neat setup Frits!

Absolutely Love it!

The little tab bit that holds the camera quick release section broke on ours :-(

i'll design up different parts for another derivative soon to print out. :-)

And here is some more fun!

This is my short gimbal handle -


My Brother and I are ironing out some quirks in balancing - mainly because his camera has a Huge 'settings switches' handle and microphone on the hotshoe. Because the mic is off to the side it puts the balance off terribly. i couldn't get a photo with it on as yet, but will post pics with the bare bones camera.

Shorter uni-joint and handle for Stead i cam.
by Dogbert

Thankyou for the "built" STL - It has made the jigsaw SO MUCH easier!

I'm 1/2 way through building mine out of black acrylic.

I'm also designing a derivative to help join up the Steadicam and the 3D printed uni-joint.
Will post that soon!

And Pics!!!

Hi Dogbert, looking forward of a sleek 'carbon'-look Stead i Cam!

Hi, i'm writing from Chile, and i like to say the project is really awesome, CONGRATULATIONS!!!

I have a laser cutter machine an i like to make this project, but i don't know what other things i need to can build it. Also, how much weight is needed? Depends on the camera i suppose, it has to be the same weight, more or less? Best Regards!

Hello pafifo,

Besides the wooden parts you will need a bicycle handle, some bearings and a gimbal (or you can print you own gimbal: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:14335)http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... and of course some weights/washers and a bolt that screws in your camera.

About the weight, you will need to experiment a bit, we used lead weights.

If you have any other questions during the built feel free to ask them here. If you have any pictures of the built please share those to! :-D

Universal joint + handle for Stead i Cam
by _aron_

Thanks for your quick reply!

Last night i cut the pieces in 3 mm MDF. I try to solve the way how to put the pieces toghether but i can't understand it, only be able to assemble the sides and the weight base. Do you have some assembly guide of the pieces?

I found in my shop a lot of weights disks, i will experiment with this.

When i figure it out the assembly i can do a photographic guide if you want, to can attach here as a PDF, i'm a pro photographer an i'll do it for the project. :)

Hi, I love the idea of making a photo guide! If you could make one I would be very thankfull! This would be great for other people that strugle with the stead i cam 'puzzle'. I will upload some screenshots of the solidworks assembly for you.

Hi pafifo, I uploaded some screenshots of the solid works assembly and added an .stl file and a .u3d file. I'm hoping that you can figure out how all of the bits and pieces fit together, if you are still struggling with the assembly, let me know.

I would like to help with making the annotations of the picture assembly guide if you are still interested in making one, maybe we could even make an Instructable out of it. Hope to hear from you! :)

Awesome design! I have an older version of solidworks that won't open your file. Do you happen to have an assembled model that I can open in maya?

Hi, at the moment I do not have the assembled model in anything other then a solid work file, I'll look into exporting it in a different format. Are you planning on building one? :)

Hi Kyle, I just uploaded a .u3d file on Thingiverse, will this help you?

work in progress ;)

had to split up the build area in 2 files to fit into the 300x600mm lasercutter size.


Nice to see another Stead i Cam!, I hope to see it fully assembled! What are you using for the handle / gimbal ? If you have questions, please let us know!


well i am struggeling with the assembly of the handle. Like aron mentioned, a set of instructions would be great.

the Illustrator files that fit in a 600x300mm Lasercutter can be found here:

Thank you for sharing your Illustrator files. You can download the Soldiworks assembly file if you have trouble putting the jigsaw pieces together. Let me know if you don't have Solidworks, I can make some screenshots of the cross section of the Stead i Cam if you think this will help.

Awesome thing! I've seen your design at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven at the ID'11 exhibition. It worked well with my canon 550d, great work!

I've cut it in acryllic yesterday. I'll post an image as soon as I can figure how to get it together. A solidworks assembly would be greatly appreciated!

Beautiful design!

Hi, I am very curious on how the stead i cam will look in acryllic! I will upload the solidworks file very soon!


Nice! So far, it looks great!

Where did you get that awesome looking bike handle? :) A full bom would be appreciated too :)

hi, we ordered the bike handles from a local shop, i searched on ebay and this is something similar to what we have. It is important that their is a tightening feature at the end of the handle.


Thanks for the link! I'm also curious about the gimbal you used - even though I'm making my own :) ...and of course the solidworks assembly!! I really want to use it to design matching parts!! Maybe you can email it to me if it's not yet publishable?

I'd like to design a 3d printable handle for this thing. ...can't wait for the solidworks file!!

Started with the gimbal.. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:14335http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Will print it soon :) Not prooved it works yet though.

Universal joint + handle for Stead i Cam
by _aron_

I'll second that - Awesome design!!!

Could you please post it in DXF (or tell us how to open and convert it ourselves)?


DXF is uploaded!

if you decide to make one please share a picture of it with us, we are very curious!

I will look into converting the files to DXF, hope to see your Stead i Cam soon!

Can't wait to build one! My brother just brought a very nice camera to try it out on once it's done!

Thanks again for a brilliant design and the DXF's!

Very nice looking mount. Can you post the files in DXF too, please?

Very soon!