How to reproduce a $10,000 camera stand with a bit of DIY and a 3D printer
We all know that some YouTubers are a little bit… “extra”. And Alexandre Chappel is no exception. I’ve been following Alexandre for a while now. He’s a maker, and often incorporates 3D printing into his creations. He also films all his videos in a permanent studio space within his workshop. This time, he’s turned his hand to something to help him shoot his videos.
Frustrated with his shooting workflow using standard video tripods, he wanted something a bit more versatile that would allow him more shooting options. What he really wanted was a Foba ASABA. But they cost almost $10,000 So, he had a go at building his own.
As practical and useful 3D printing projects go, this one is way up there in the list of the most ambitious. Alexandre doesn’t go through how he designed it on the computer, but he does explain the design choices he made in order to improve the strength and stability of the camera stand as he pieces it all together. And some of it is pretty ingenious. He also talks about the tools and jigs he 3D printed to help him drill and construct this beast.
There are a total of 64 printed parts in this thing, all linked together by square aluminium tubing, bearings and bolts, which used about 9.2kg of filament (around $200-250 worth of filament) and took 346 hours of 3D printer time. It’s not quite the $10K cost of the Foba, but it’s still going to set you back a good few hundred to build if you want to make your own.
And, yes, you can make your own. Alexandre – against his better judgement – will release all of the files for this on September 22nd so that you can have a go at building it yourself. He does say, however, that you do this at your own risk and expense. If your prints don’t match up because your printer isn’t calibrated properly, or your camera comes crashing down to the ground because your under-extruded parts are weak… Well, that’s your problem.
It’s definitely not a project to take on lightly, but if you have the need for such a camera stand and the 3D printing experience to create it accurately, you can.
This is pretty insane, but it just shows what you can do with 3D printing now if you set your mind to it.
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.