Build a PVC Fig Rig





Introduction: Build a PVC Fig Rig

A Fig Rig is a circular camera mount designed to simulate the look of a steadicam. Manfrotto sells them for about $400. Make an even better one for under $10.

Step 1: Look at a Real Fig Rig

A Fig Rig works by spreading out the center of gravity across the rig. Instead of the camera capturing all your hand movement, your hands are away from the camera, but at the same level so you not only get smoother movement, but more control as well.

Step 2: PVC

So, how to make one? Go down to your local hardware store and buy some PVC, connectors, and some red hot blue glue. For the tripod connector, get a long 1/4" machine bolt and some washers and nuts that fit. PVC caps work really well, you just need to drill a couple holes. When using the PVC glue, be sure to do it outside or somewhere where there's a lot of air (it gives off a lot of fumes, you'll see).

Good luck! If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

Step 3: Extended Steps

some more suggestions:

buy a 10' length of pvc and cut it later, cut all pieces before any glueing (the glue dries fast) and lay out pieces. to cut pvc, use a pvc cutter (pump handle tool).

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    Since we don't get this kind of PVC tubing in Sweden il make mine out of wood

    Vad anvander dom i Sverige?

    I live in Italy, so I know they are not easy to find, you should look at big electric suppliers stores, they sell rigid pvc tubes of various diameters, I think they use it to protect the wires, the only downside is that they don't have any T connections, only 90 degrees, end caps, and 180 degrees connections.
    I made my fig rig from only one piece of 25mm pipe, about 1,6m long, I bent it with heat to a circular shape, with a reversed V on the base, to make directly the camera support with only one piece of pipe, and connected the ends with a 180 connection. It's a hybrid between a fig rig and a halo rig, it has a diameter of 0,5m, so a little bigger than a fig rig, but I'm not that much impressed with it stabilisation capabilities, it gives decent results only if I'm standing still, and it reduces only "rotational" shakiness.

    No PVC tubing? How come?

    Well we do have PVC tubing just not the plumbing kind you yanks have. and the kind we got is kinda flimsy and weight aslong as its not to much a good thing in a steadycammish project.

    In Sweden you have PE-Xa (cross linked polyethylene) which is usually used for underfloor heating (nice and springy, but maybe too flexible for this project) If you want something which will keep the shape you bend it to, try PAL pipe (as above with an aluminium layer which makes it form-stable). You can get both of these from plumbing suppliers.

    What about tweaking a Hula Hoop, or some flexible copper tubing?

    I'm thinking that'll be to flimsy. I would rather make it from half hard rigid copper tubing instead and solder it together.

    I've just made mine with a 24in hula hoop with a wood bar in the middle, its strong, sure i can bend it, but its not easy, the wood bar in the middle help a lot to give it strength. I tie-wrapped some gray copper tubing insulation to it and, i'm considering bicycle cork tape it'll be more comfortable. The only thing is the 24in rim is too big for my small Canon Elura 100 (it's like 4x3x2.5 inche).

    I would think you could try using a bicycle rim, if you can find a used one in decent condition. Take out the spokes and mod it.