Yes it is beautiful, the lovely refraction of light from the glistening carbon strands under the glass finish…. but its appeal was not designed to be cosmetic. Properly applied, carbon fiber structural design provides up to 3 times the strength of steel in a structure of the same weight or, to put it another way, it provides the same strength in a structure weighing one third of the weight. The latter relationship is the major attraction.
From the outset, the material of choice for the new Oculus gimbal system from SpaceCam was carbon fiber. The learning process to understand its ultimate application is not quickly attained. It requires decades of experience. This was a major consideration in the selection of team members for the Oculus project as our goal was to utilize this material in an optimal manner that would result in a lightweight, yet very rigid structure. We did not want to just end up with a cool-looking end-cap.
This has been achieved. The total weight of the carbon fiber structure for Oculus is 12lbs, (5.4kg). When motors, electronics and other components are added the total weight ends up around 45 honest lbs. We are led to believe that this is by far the lightest gimbal in its class.
A low mass structure in a gimbal translates to faster control responses (400 deg./sec for Oculus, see the last posting), improved stability performance and offers many advantages when supporting the system on camera cranes, cars, boats and aircraft, in short, it is a very good attribute…and by the way… it looks very cool.