Over the past couple of months I was looking for easy ways to mount my newly aquired Sony HDR-AZ1VR Mini Action Cam to my bicycles. Sony like all other action cam manufacturers do not have a lot of options for mounting. The ones they do have have to be universal and adjustable so they tend to be big and heavy not to mention ugly.
With all the hoopla about 3D printing, I did a lot of research and found that 3D printed parts can be every bit as strong as injection molded parts and weight-weenie light. So I set about refreshing my mechanical drawing skills, took a look at what I needed and went about designing my own mounts.
Before you all say we don't need another mounting system, please note that I did not make up a new one. The GoPro is ubiquitous, there are more mounting options and cheaper mounts than any other brand. I based my designs on directly adapting the original manufacturers mounting system to the GoPro system. This opens up a world of possibilities as to where you can put your action cam.
I am not trying to duplicate existing mounts or adapters, just fill in a niche where things could be infinitely more weight conscious or where there are no alternatives. My intent was to have the parts I needed to get where I wanted with the least number of adapters, the sturdiest vibration free mounts and of course the least amount of weight. I thought that if I could use such items, maybe some of my weight-weenie aquintences could use them also. I am not trying to be the next big thing, just filling a space with one-off parts that no one else wants to make themselves. I do not make these items myself, that I leave to Shapeways. They take care of everything, shipping direct to whoever buys from them.
Here is a link to my Shapeways page and a few pictures of some of the items I have designed;The Revolutionaries on Shapeways 27.2 mm Seat Post Mount31.6 mm Seat Post Mount2009-12 Cannondale Synapse Seat Post Mount Contour T-Rail Direct to GoPro MountSony HDR-AZ1 Direct to GoPro MountSony HDR-AZ! Direct to Contour T-Rail Mount Sony Live-View Remote to Garmin Quarter-turn MountIon Air Pro CamLOCK Direct to GoPro Mount27.2 mm Race Number Plate Holder
This is just a small sample of stuff no one else makes. The images are in random colors to show what Shapeways can do. Like I said, I use them and some guys at MTBR have purchased some of the mounts too. I understand that DIY has an appeal, but why kludge some stuff together when you can just use a single mount conversion. I am constantly adding stuff that I feel I can use, but I am also open to suggestions. If you know what you want, and can describe it or draw it I can see if its something I want to tackle.
Just a couple of notes, this is weightweenies after all. As an example: If you wanted to mount a Contour Roam 3 on a 27.2 mm seatpost you could use the mount, direct ot GoPro T-Rail adapter and two M3 x 16 mm socket head cap screws with nylon insert lock nuts (hardware is not included with my mounts) and the total weight would be approximately 18 grams. And that is with Stainless Steel bolts and nuts! Contour does not make a seat post mount but you could use the Contour 2755 Flex Strap Mount at 36 grams provided it doesn't interfere with you pedal stroke. To front mount, if you have something like a K-Edge Garmin mount, the T-Rail adapter weighs just 3 grams.
With regard to strength, these parts are made out of nylon
, it is a very strong material used by some F1 race teams on various parts. It is made using a process called Selective Laser Sintering
(SLS for short). Each part is build up layer by layer in a block of nylon powder. A laser then melts selected areas of the nylon fusing it to the layer below. After the process is complete the cooled parts are removed from the block of nylon powder, cleaned, polished and dyed.
Some but not all of the stuff I have drawn up is available on Thingiverse
for those adventurous to try 3D printing for themselves. Just be prepared for a lot of trial and error and reprints. There are also no support structures included with the Thingiverse files so there will be a lot of prep work before you have a perfectly usuable print.