Is 3D printing the next step in niche manufacturing for photography gear? How does a 3D-printed product stack up against its all-metal CNC'ed inspiration?
Earlier this year, Edelkrone announced a 3D printable version of its FlexTILT tripod head as part of a new program called ORTAK. The new ORTAK line of products is an attempt to take advantage of the rise in consumer 3D printing technology by providing the non-3D printed materials and plans for a product. The consumer can then make their own to suit their individual needs for a lower cost than buying the full Metal version.
Angus Deveson over at Maker's Muse took the time to make a 3D-printed version and put it to the test and see if it can compete with the original metal design. I've seen a few attempts and reviews of the tripod head, but Deveson and Maker's Muse are a great resource dedicated to 3D-printing techniques, products, and improving the 3D-printing community. So, it is interesting to see how good a product he can produce with his experience and at what cost.
Deveson also talks about whether this type of manufacturing is something that more companies should or will be doing in the future. 3D printing is on the rise, and the price of quality consumer printers is dropping rapidly. Not only that, but there are more and more resources for well-designed product blueprints that can be bought online.
So, is this something you would be willing to build at home to save a few dollars? I know I would love to feel the difference between the two myself.
Have you 3D printed your own FlexTILT? How does it perform?