I designed and 3D printed my own grid for the Aputure MC and here’s why

Apr 13, 2022

Benjamin Heindl

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

I designed and 3D printed my own grid for the Aputure MC and here’s why

Apr 13, 2022

Benjamin Heindl

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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I love shooting product photos and videos with the Aputure AL-MC. It’s such a versatile and powerful helper compared to its size. I use it on almost every product shoot.

There’s only one thing that is not ideal and that’s the light spill. The MC has a super wide angle of light spread, so you will get light spilling onto your background unless you have a big studio where you can put the background system a few meters away from your scene.

YouTube video

I don’t have that kind of luxury, so I gotta use helpers. For one, I can use flags. But I’m a little lazy, so putting up light stands and flags everywhere is not my favorite workaround. Also, I like a small and compact setup.

That’s why I decided to design, 3D model, and 3D print a snap-on-grid for my MCs. I own a 3D printer, so I am used to creating customized solutions for all kinds of problems and I really love modeling and printing camera gear.

Development

Of course, it took some time to 3D model the grid, print it, revise, print again, … as prototyping always does, but it’s really worth it. I now have a fitting snap-on-grid for my MCs in two different speed angles. One for a 90° light spread and one for a 60° angle. (Without the grid, the MC has a light spread of 120°, according to Aputure, but it goes more towards 180°).

Freshly printed McGrid prototypes

It is designed to maintain usability entirely. You can access the on/off switch, the control wheel and the USB-C port, you have a clear view of the display, and the air slots, as well as the 1/4” thread hole, are not obstructed.

Even though the grid fits perfectly onto the MC, there are three holders for extra stability, so the grid will never come off unexpectedly. Two sturdy ones at the bottom and one flexible latch for easy mounting and unmounting.

What’s in the ZIP?

For ultimate convenience, I also created a case for keeping the grids safe during transportation. As for now, there are two different sizes. One to fit a 60° and a 90° grid and one to fit both grid sizes as well as two AL-MCs that you can print depending on your preferences.

Your download will contain four STL files. Both grid sizes and two different protective cases; one to fit each of both grids and one to fit both grids and two MC units. I love it when accessories have their dedicated place and I think it is super comfortable to have two MCs with their grids mounted and ready to shoot but still safe and sound in a hard case.

Three McGrids in action to highlight their protective case

If you like using the Aputure AL-MC and also think the light spread is too wide, try my custom-made “McGrid” and let me know what you think about it! You can buy the kit including both grid angles and both case sizes for $5 on cults3d.com. Please mind the printing instructions!

Thank you and keep on creating!

About the Author

Benjamin is the head of Sincere Promotions, offering services in videography, photography, audio engineering and graphic design. He also has an interest in 3D printing to help him solve filmmaking challenges. You can find out more about Benjamin on his website and follow his work on Instagram and YouTube. This article was also published here and shared with permission.

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One response to “I designed and 3D printed my own grid for the Aputure MC and here’s why”

  1. Benjamin Avatar
    Benjamin

    Thanks a lot for sharing ☺️