It all  started when I heard of the possibilities of 3d-scanning with the Kinect. So I bought myself a Kinect and started my experiments. But very quickly I found out these little devices are just a bit clumsy when handheld.

So I took a glance at thingiverse, knowing when I meet these problems, I am not the first person in history bumping into this problem and also not the last one either.

The first thingi I found on thingiverse was made by the illustrious Tony Buser, father of the spin scan and other inventions.

But as a matter of facts I found his hammerhead kinect grip a bit on the rough side. I for instance do not very much cheer to his solutions with screws all that kind of stuff. Tony Buser is after all not a mechanical guy but a software specialist.

Looking further on I found just many copies of this solution but very few original ideas which  looked like a real improvement or made me smile. So it was about time I created my own design.

First I took a few measures of a cheap rc-remote control . Just as a guidance to form and dimensions. Because the handling of this thing was quiet reasonable.

Building a model of it, following it’s shape looked a bit clumsy and rather rough: nice but not good enough. The flow of the shape was good, but the edges were still too sharp and the whole of it too blunt and stone age shaped.

Second step: using the flow as rails for a loft seemed to me a reasonable idea. By adding a number of ellipses following the rails, each with it’s own dimensions, resulted in a model which could be very easily fine tuned.  It looked so much better.

A quick check by printing it as a vase model  resulted in a little set-back. The shape was really nice, but the overall dimensions were just a bit too small. So I had to scale it up, the  only way.

A second check was much more satisfying. The shape and sizes were now ok.

Because I wished to make a separate  kinect clamp with spring loaded clamp fingers and with a tripod screw socket, I had to ad a tripod screw to the hand grip. A lot of Chinese web shops sell these for a few dimes, no problem. Splitting the upper halve of the grip was actually also a easy peasy slice of cake, no brain pain.

The bottom plate of the kinect has four centre holes with a conical shape. They are quite small. So it’s very hard to measure their depth and to find all the dimensions. A good solution to this was filling it with a soft kit, acrylic kit in this particular case,  and then let it hard out. In this way one can make a good imprint of the shape of those holes.

First I made a nut with ¼” -20 UNC  threat. But this did not work out well with the screw on my tripod. Either the tripod screw is too short or the nut lays too deep in the clamp. (never mind the bollocks, feel yours). Anyway, I had to replace it with something else. So that is why I ended up with the reworked knurled nut. Not the most easy solution, but hey it works quiet good.

Testing the handgrip, I quickly found out it was a bit out of balance: the kinect can be quiet a weight. So I measured the mass, measured the approximate fulcrum point (between thumb and index finger) and then calculated the size of a contraweight. For this I used north sea dune sand because we have a awfull lot of it around here. I sieved it with a kitchen sieve to get rid of all the crunchy pieces.

By hollowing out the grip, adding a spiral wound groove with a trap on the end I succeeded in combining the contra weight in the whole assembly. Still one more lesson to go. the weight wouldn’t stay within it’s trap if one moved it a bit to fast up and down. It came tumbling out, cracked open and spilled all the sand on the carppet * hrmpfff! Grumbles! *.  So that’s why I had to add the spring: to fixate it in it’s place within the handgrip.

But on the whole, I think it is a very reasonable design.

stl's can be found here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2529475

I also wrote a Instructables on how to assemble the whole thing together: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Assemble-the-Kinect-Grip-of-CatweazleMagic/

Enjoy, CatweazleMagic

Little note for visitors who are not aquainted with the dutch language: If you are  interested in my art, please click on the union jack in the upper left corner, or follow thins link.

 

 

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