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Self • January 2016 - present
As an Extreme Wildlife Cinematographer working mostly on the Arctic on-and-under the ice, I require specialized cinematic gear which is hardly available. Having been a tech-geek all my life with a drive to create "stuff", I started a little workshop to make my own gear. I had no idea how to use CAD, what a lathe or mill was but I had the drive to produce the tools I need. I studied a lot about 3D printing and quickly operated a Markforged composites 3D printer (mostly carbon fiber). Bumping on tensile strength issues (esp. 1/4-20 threads), dimensional accuracy (concentricity of rods) etc, I felt the urge to involve subtractive manufacturing (mostly Al 6061) and invested in a manual vertical mill with DRO & a mini lathe (Sherline). After feeling confident enough, I added a DATRON CNC to my workshop which was, eh, quite a steep learning curve (and sometimes still is). Nowadays I dare to say (for a non-designer/machinist) I have become fairly good at creating and manufacturing my tools.