Picture of 3d Printed Merlin Style Steadicam: MO-FLO 1.0
Let me introduce the MO-FLO 1.0, another one of my entries into the world of DIY camera stabilization equipment. The MO-FLO, short for MOVIE and FLOW, is a 3d printed Merlin style steadicam.

In case you're new to the subject, Steadicam is a trademarked name for a company that produces camera stabilization equipment. When you search for DIY steadicam stuff on the internet, you'll find tons of resources. You can also search "steadycam" with a "y" and find more of the same stuff. Some people will cause a fuss about using the word steadicam, but when it really comes down to it, it's like asking for a kleenex when all you really need is a tissue.


Many DIY designs on the internet are based on the simple elements of the Merlin Steadicam. What tends to shock people about the Merlin, is its outrageous price tag. At first glance, you might guess that the unit would retail for a couple hundred bucks at the most. You're actually looking at shelling out close to $800!

Don't get me wrong..... it is a nice piece of equipment, but it's a huge investment. Let's look at the bright side though. With such a high retail price, this fancy gadget has merely inspired a nation of makers to fashion their own rigs out of simple and some not so simple materials. I'll show you some great examples shortly.

The interesting thing that I've learned from reviewing countless testimonials, and youtube vids, is that the steadicam is not a simple, easy to operate, magic, movie making machine. It demands time and patience, not only to balance it correctly, but to use it effectively for your film shots. Right now as I write this, there are many sad and lonely Merlins sitting in their fancy cases, while their frustrated owners try to sell them on ebay for fifty dollars less than retail.

My adventure begins.......

Don't forget to check out example footage captured using the MO-FLO 1.0.

Hey great project

I would love to make it but how do i print the STL files.
I print in cm so the files are very small.

indygo1231 year ago

Great project ! congratulations. Now, make one for iPhone and Samsung, so everybody can make movies with great quality and youtube will be lot better place.:)

$50 less than retail, LOL! Yeah, eBay sellers kill me! It didn't used to be like that, you could find items for half off retail, but no more! Most of the time you can buy new cheaper than a used one on eBay!
Mr. Noack (author) 2 years ago
Great question! This is an important piece of information that I neglected to include. Good thing someone is paying attention. I don't have access to the original file at the moment because it is at work, but I can tell you the the top spar is approx 6" and the lower spar is approx 10". Depending on the camera and the number of weights you use, any spar length close to this measurements should work. I have a couple different lower spar lengths that I have used successfully. When I get a chance I will send you the exact measurements from my original plans.
Mr. Noack (author)  Mr. Noack2 years ago
Stl files are in inches.
kaleden2 years ago
Just a few questions: are the stl files in inches? What are the lengths of the upper and lower spars (the 1/2" alluminum rods)?

Great tips regarding dealing with liftage!
kondzio292 years ago
Brilliant work mate!
Hope one day I'll have acces to 3d printer ;)
bfk2 years ago
I had a Stedicam J.R. and it wasn't as well designed as yours. Excellent Instructable. Hope you didn't spend your entire trip messing with the equipment:)
Mr. Noack (author)  bfk2 years ago
The trip was amazing, and I certainly took in the sights with my own eyes. Glad you like the design.
ssamc2 years ago
congratulations, very professional job
Mr. Noack (author)  ssamc2 years ago
Thanks! I spent a lot of time on this one, and had so much fun using it.
venedictus2 years ago
Hi great instructuble! I checked all the STL files but I didnt seem to find the stage. Thanks!
Mr. Noack (author)  venedictus2 years ago
Uploaded! Thanks!
Honus2 years ago
Excellent! Sending this to a film director friend right now... :)
Mr. Noack (author)  Honus2 years ago
I hope it comes in handy.