Axis Gimbal Frames

2 and 3 Axis Gimbal Frames

There are a  num­ber of dif­fer­ent types of frames and sys­tems out there.  How­ever, for the pur­pose of this tuto­rial we’ll focus on the basic struc­ture and com­mon mate­ri­als used for build­ing axis gim­bals.  We’ll cover the advan­tages and draw­backs of speci­fic attrib­utes to give you a big­ger scope of how frames func­tion.moviM10-detail

Car­bon Fiber Frames
Advan­tages of car­bon fiber frames is that its super light­weight, afford­able, strong, and easy to cut. It’s by far the most used mate­rial for build­ing out gim­bals due to its avail­abil­ity and price point.  Car­bon fiber frames are also very cus­tomiz­able.  The only draw­back is that you can’t just go out and buy car­bon fiber rods and plates at your local hard­ware store.

Nylon Joints, Brack­ets and Mounts
Most Car­bon Fiber frames use nylon joints, brack­ets, and mount­ing solu­tions due to its den­sity and strength.  The nylon mate­rial is also very easy to cut with ordi­nary machi­nes and laser cut­ters.  Nylon also can be glued using bond­ing adhe­sives like Epoxy.


CNC Machined Alu­minum Frames

Alu­minum gim­bal frames are very sturdy, and will prob­a­bly out­last the life of your cam­era.  There are many man­u­fac­tur­ers out there with pre-cut parts with tapped 1/4–20 and 3/4 holes which are ideal when adding extra periph­er­als like mon­i­tors, LEDs, mics, etc.  They are how­ever harder to mod­ify and very dif­fi­cult to cut if you need to cus­tomize parts.  The costs of man­u­fac­tur­ing cus­tom parts are very expen­sive due to highly tech­ni­cal machin­ing and labor.  Most alu­minum gim­bals are anodized for color and dura­bil­ity.  The weight of these units do tend to be more than the car­bon fiber sys­tems.

Brack­ets & Mounts
Typ­i­cally alu­minum gim­bal sys­tems use CNC machined brack­ets and mounts that can also be inte­grated in unlim­ited con­fig­u­ra­tions for cus­tom builds.

[aside title=“3 AXIS TURNING”]Pan or Yaw(3-Axis Gim­bal)
360º Con­tin­u­ous
+/- 180º Left/Right
+/- 180º Up/Down[/aside] [seven_columns]Balance is every­thing.  A per­fectly bal­anced cam­era and gim­bal is the most impor­tant aspect of gim­bal con­fig­u­ra­tion.  Plan­ning your cam­era, lens, and aux­il­iary equip­ment selec­tion before hand helps to opti­mize the cen­ter of grav­ity bal­ance for the gim­bal.  This allows for smoother motion, a more effi­cient gim­bal, and longer bat­tery life.  The direct drive brush­less motors will wont have to work as hard against grav­ity to adjust for tilt, and roll.  We’ll run you through the bal­anc­ing tuto­rial later.[/seven_columns]

The Main Components

2 Axis Gim­bals and 3 Axis Gim­bals are essen­tially the same thing except that a 3-Axis Gim­bal has a 360º rota­tion “Yaw” on the “Down Tube”.  The other two axis are the “Roll” (X) and “Tilt” (Y) axis.  We’ll illus­trate and define the main com­po­nents to get you famil­iar with the struc­ture of an Axis Gim­bal.  Once you get famil­iar­ized with the lay­out of a gim­bal its fairly easy to under­stand how it works.  Let’s take a look shall we?


Side Han­dles
These han­dles are typ­i­cally made from molded rub­ber, plas­tic, or CNC machined alu­minum.  Many DIY gim­bals fea­ture cus­tomized bicy­cle han­dles.  The pur­pose of these han­dles is to allow you to com­fort­ably grip the cam­era gim­bal at waist to shoul­der height.

Top Cross Bar
Sup­ports the han­dles and con­nects to the “Down Tube”.  This cross bar can be cus­tomized with brack­ets, 1/4–20 taps, or other mount­ing options to acces­sories your gim­bal with options such as field mon­i­tors, micro­phones, LEDs, etc.  Adding to this cross bar will not effect the cen­ter bal­ance of the actual gim­bal unit, but you should be aware of the over­all weight dis­tri­b­u­tion of the gim­bal as it will be much eas­ier to han­dle if bal­anced prop­erly.

Top Han­dle
Lower shots are typ­i­cally taken using the top han­dle.  The con­struc­tion is typ­i­cally the same as the other side han­dles.  This option can also be removed if its not nec­es­sary for the shoot.

Top Clamp
This part is the 90º joint that con­nects the “Down Tube” with neck of the “Top Cross Bar”.

Down Tube (100mm-125mm)
3-Axis Gim­bals typ­i­cally have a 100mm down tube, while 2-Axis gim­bals have a 125mm down tube.  This height can be adjusted or cus­tomized to your cam­era height.

Tilt Motor
The tilt­ing from Up/Downor (Y axis) is con­trolled by high pow­ered direct drive brush­less motors.

Tilt Cross Bar
The cross­bar that allows the cam­era to tilt up/down with cam­era base­plate and mount­ing.

Roll Motor
The tolling from left/right or (X axis) is con­trolled by high pow­ered direct drive brush­less motors.

Baseplate/Camera Tray
The cam­era mount typ­i­cally comes with a 1/4–20 and/or  3/4“mounting option for DSLRs and GoPro.  The mount­ing plate can slide along the Roll Cross Bar to bal­ance out the cen­ter of grav­ity for less resis­tance and opti­mal per­for­mance.

Recommended Brushless Gimbal Frames

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    DSLR Brushless Gimbal Frame

    DSLR 3-Axis Brushless Gimbal Frame + Motors

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