Anyone who reads this blog knows that I have a 3D printer. It’s a great hobby that is both fantastic for making props, and for even printing camera accessories on the fly. Some camera gear is just too expensive to buy for one of two uses, and Edelkrone has come to a realization that it’s better to sell some parts for makers than it is to miss out altogether. That’s why they’ve created the Ortak program, and their first product for users to buy and print is the popular Edelkrone FlexTilt Head.
ORTAK is a new co-manufacturing approach that allows anyone to own fully-functional, high-tech products at greatly reduced prices. With ORTAK method, products are manufactured by you and edelkrone together. edelkrone will manufacture the critical parts, such as CNC machined aluminum joints (or possibly electronic components in the future) to minimize cost, while making sure the end product works flawlessly. While we ship the critical parts, you will 3D print the rest of the product and have the ability to customize the design, form, and color to your needs.
Soon, 3D printers will be in every house. If you don’t already have access to a 3D printer, it may be time to invest in one to make ORTAK products even more feasible and see the time it takes for a return on investment drop drastically. We foresee a future in which visionary companies will use ORTAK co-manufacturing method to decrease costs for both the company and the customer while enabling highly customizable and more personal products. – Edelkrone Ortak Program Announcement
Edelkrone calls it the ORTAK “co-manufacturing” program, and the basic premise is pretty brilliant. Since there are some parts that have to be custom machined, since they can’t be found at the local hardware store, Edelkrone has created a parts kit that you can buy (which includes various screws, joints, and other CNC machined aluminum parts), and then download the 3D file to print yourself. This gives users the options of choosing the filament, color, and even how much infill they think they need, print the model, and then use the parts kit to assemble the unit themselves. And considering the parts kit is around $32, while the FlexTilt 2 is around $150, there’s a substantial savings for going the quasi DIY rout and print up your own.
Check out the video below:
I think Edelkrone is onto something here. There is a thriving and growing maker movement out there that simply enjoys the manufacturing process because they can not only save money going the DIY route, but that they can customize parts to meet their needs better. Through the Ortak system, users can really make their camera gear their own, and yet still have the robust built quality that comes with using original parts that only Edelkrone can provide.
And even if you don’t have a 3D printer, there are so-called “Makers Spaces” popping up in communities all over the world, mostly in community colleges and public libraries. And with a small amount of training, users can print what they need for free or at a nominal membership price. Either way, the end result is a piece of camera gear that can maintain the high level of performance of one built by Edelkrone, but at a fraction of the price.
I really hope this catches on. For more information, and to download your own FlexTilt Head, visit the Edelkrone Ortak site here.