Edelkrone gear too expensive for you? They have a cheaper 3D printed option now
Edelkrone makes some pretty wonderful and somewhat unique tools for filmmakers and photographers. But Edelkrone gear is expensive. Take a look at the Edelkrone FlexTILT 2, for example. The regular price on that is $149. What if you could get it for $30 and change?
Well, now you can, thanks to Edelkrone’s new Ortak programme. This drastically cuts the cost of acquiring kit by having Edelkrone supply you with the essential proprietary hardware, for a fraction of the cost of the original product, and then they send you the STL files to 3D print the other components.
About the new Ortak programme, Edelkrone says…
ORTAK is a new co-manufacturing approach that allows anyone to own fully-functional, high-tech products at greatly reduced prices. With ORTAK method, products are manufactured by you and edelkrone together. edelkrone will manufacture the critical parts, such as CNC machined aluminum joints (or possibly electronic components in the future) to minimize cost, while making sure the end product works flawlessly. While we ship the critical parts, you will 3D print the rest of the product and have the ability to customize the design, form, and color to your needs.
Soon, 3D printers will be in every house. If you don’t already have access to a 3D printer, it may be time to invest in one to make ORTAK products even more feasible and see the time it takes for a return on investment drop drastically. We foresee a future in which visionary companies will use ORTAK co-manufacturing method to decrease costs for both the company and the customer while enabling highly customizable and more personal products.
As a concept, this is absolutely brilliant. Many people have 3D printers these days (I have four), and once you get them dialled in and understand what materials are best for different use cases, you can get some fantastic results. But… (there’s always one of those, isn’t there?)
Every single day I see hundreds of posts from people on social media that they’re having problems with their printer. That it’s not extruding properly, its proportions are way off, it’s curling off the print bed, the layers aren’t adhering to each other or one of the countless other maladies to which 3D printers succumb.
So, while you might only be paying Edelkrone €29 for the parts, printing them out to any satisfactory level of quality might be a bit more expensive if you’ve not yet figured out how to get your printer printing perfectly, and you end up printing in an entirely unsuitable material. Not to mention the cost of a 3D printer if you don’t already own one.
And even if you do manage to print it perfectly, it’s not going to last as long as the machined aluminium parts on the original Edelkrone kit. Especially if you print it in PLA and work a lot in hot outdoor environments. Sure, you can print it in ABS, but that’s not very easy for many people to print, and often shrinks after it cools. Try PETG.
But, the one big advantage, aside from the potential cost savings, that this offers is that Edelkrone has also included the SolidWorks and Step files in the download containing the STL files. So, you have a few more options if you want to customise them to better fit with other kit. Perhaps you want a longer base for longer video tripod plates, for example. Either way, you will have that freedom (provided you know how to use 3D modelling software).
It will be interesting to see how well received this programme ends up being, from both the photography and 3D printing communities – and whether there’s enough crossover between the two to make this viable for Edelkrone.
The FlexTilt Head 3D is just the first product to join the Ortak programme, and we can expect more to be added in the future.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.