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DIY Jib Crane Kit Answered

It's been years since I've posted here, but I have an idea that might benefit those who like to make short films on an indie budget. 

I've had a design for an all-aluminum and stainless DIY jib crane kit that I could sell for under $180. It would have full ball-bearing movement and axes that can be locked. The kit would come with all of the hardware and parts except for the tripod and the aluminum rails, which every home depot and lowes sell (1"x1"x6-10' box aluminum). I would supply templates for the holes. 
I'm in college now and without a machine shop, but I know of a shop that could mill the parts out for enough money to allow me to offer the kit for a nominal fee. 

Keep in mind that there really is not a kit or crane out there that can lift 20-30lbs (and be completely waterproof) for under $350. Most cranes are even more than that. 

Before I put the details of the plan on paper, I need to know if there's a market for something like this, because the initial investment is a few hundred dollars and the shop doesn't do small runs. Parts would be 100% CNC'd and anodized for a nominal fee. 

My questions:
-Where and who should I market this to?
-What forums would have an audience that this would appeal to?

Any help is appreciated, I'm not so much into videography as I am into making photography equipment. 



6 years ago

There probably isn't going to be much of an actual market for this.. people who use them professionally will buy the real deal, and people who would consider a DIY version that only use them occasionally would probably just build their own. As for who you should market it to, you're looking for the prosumer level videographer. Perhaps there will be more of an appeal than I realize though. Also keep in mind your jib will need to accommodate different plates and weights, just like the real thing.


6 years ago

Do you even have a prototype to put up an instructable? You could gauge interest from that. Look up indymogul, they are more current on YouTube but have been active here as Indy film makers. Maybe contact them. Good luck.