As spring begins to show its face ever so slowly, teasing us with a few green blooms in between surprise snow showers, many of us already start to miss the idea of skiing, sledding, snowboarding, and all those wintery ‘s’ sports. But before we say goodbye altogether to the white stuff, Nicolas Vuignier has one more treat for all of us, giving us another look back at that beautiful white powder—and insight into his incredible innovation with the 3D printed Centriphone. Informational or not—we’re all just thrilled to get another look at his freestyle skiing in combination with his whirling invention.
We began writing about Vuignier as he came onto the scene with his Centriphone and an incredible slo-mo video showing him slicing through the snow (it really helps to be a pro when pulling off something like this) with both speed and grace, wielding a ski pole in one hand and swinging his 3D printed centriphone rig overhead like a tech-savvy cowboy—and one who has gained a lot of attention. He’s showing us that you can use your smartphone as more than just a still selfie generator—and in the process, he might be causing the GoPro guys to take pause while counting their gold. While he did attempt to use a GoPro at first, Vuignier found it wasn’t capable of handling the job. His 64GB iPhone 6 sure was though, coupled with Apple’s Camera app, operating at 240 frames per second—and outfitted with his centriphone rig and the Olloclip wide-angled lens.
And while Vuignier may be one of the most ‘respected and iconic riders of his generation,’ according to peers, he’s also an avid filmmaker—demonstrated by his original video with the Centriphone demo that landed over two million views on YouTube. It’s easy to see why too, as the viewer is not only fascinated by the contraption, but also mesmerized by the skiing, snow, and perfect soundtrack. The skier/inventor/cinematographer promised us all he would later release a video regarding the making of the Centriphone, and he followed through—but decided to get some help with the project, as well as a product release.
“Encouraged by countless positive feedbacks, I took quick steps to bring my filming technique to a broader creative community by open-sourcing my work on GitHub,” Vuignier recently told 3DPrint.com. “A market-ready product is also in the making and available for pre-order under the impulse of a team of close friends and experienced entrepreneurs.”
It did take some time to get this latest film completed, but Vuignier is a busy guy and they had to work around his ski season schedule. Seeing the creative process in his latest video is both entertaining and inspiring as the designer (of what may turn out to be an extremely popular device for others on the powder and many other places as well) begins with a concept, a bit of ‘um, I have no idea what I’m doing here,’ and works his way to his first trial as the sunshine beams down on beautiful lanes of snow just begging to be traversed.
As shown in the latest video, there are indeed some oops, problems, trials and tribulations—and those all lead to the next version of the Centriphone—with Vuignier discarding the cardboard version (tossing in the clever quip that he will ‘leave that to Google’).
We still get to see plenty of dreamy skiing as Vuignier works out the kinks. Once the Centriphone graduated from paper to wood, Vuignier set out to expand the ‘wings.’ While that was a necessary part of the equation, he went through several more iterations, attempting to create a more compact device. That was a challenge, but the try-and-try-again method from this very persistent and creative soul eventually worked.
Once air drag was refined, Vuignier was able to focus on the actual construction with the iPhone, adding the wide-angled lens. Digital design ensued for the rig itself, along with 3D printing on an Ultimaker—and the eighth, and final, iteration was born.
If you had not watched the whole video, and merely scrolled to the end where he displays the Centriphone as he’s putting it together, you’d think this was a very simple device that may have only taken a few minutes to construct. Making things look easy, however, is indeed the sign of a real pro—and now, with the design open sourced, Vuignier invites you to make your own. You can download the open-source files, offer feedback and improvement, or pre-order a Centriphone here. If you’re into action and selfies—as well as 3D printing–this is a great way to show off your stuff on all three levels! See the full video below to gain a true appreciation for Vuignier’s process in creating the Centriphone. Are you interested in making one of these? Discuss in the 3D Printed Centriphone How To forum over at 3DPB.com.