This project's funding goal was not reached on May 2, 2014.
About this project
One of the best and most versatile ways to capture dynamic, interesting motion while shooting video is by using a slider. Sliders, like most tools in filmmaking, can be used in a variety of ways. And that means that sliders have to be flexible, adaptable, and perhaps above all, reliable. That's why we've founded White Dot and why we've created the Satellite Slider system.
Built to last a lifetime.
We all want gear that's designed to last a lifetime. The Satellite is built to be the most reliable piece of gear you own.
You can count on incredibly smooth shots thanks to the Satellite's precision bearing wheels and fully machined sliding surfaces. In fact, every part of the Satellite Slider, including accessories, are machined from 6061 aluminum bar stock giving you a slider that is both lightweight and incredibly strong. A Type-III hard coat anodized finish and stainless steel hardware is used throughout so it will look as good as it functions for years to come.The Satellite represents an incredible value with an entry price of only $150!
Designed to be easy to use and adaptable.
Filmmakers have to be fast. They need a slider that works every time and is easy to set up.
Every external accessory for the Satellite is designed to be swapped quickly. Our quick connect outrigger legs simply snap into place on our unique pull studs. Carriage decks and hi hats can be swapped or flipped with a simple knob. And adjusting the drag control is an absolute breeze. Accessory plates can be added to all 3 sides of the slide to help you mount anything you might need to get the perfect shot.
Built for ultimate flexibility.
You can build your Satellite Slider any way you like. As a filmmaker you have your own style and your own unique expectations from your gear. The Satellite slide system is designed to be incredibly flexible to fit both your needs and your budget. As your needs change you can add more accessories at any time or reconfigure the Satellite to fit your shoot's specific production needs.
Pledge level rewards
Customizing your Pledge
Every customized Satellite Slider is based on the $175 basic configuration as shown above. It features a 12" stroke length rail and Basic Carriage. From there you can configure your Satellite any way you like by mixing and matching our huge selection of accessories below. Whether or not you need a small, portable slider for run-and-gun shoots, a full on production rig for studio work, or anything in between, you can build a Satellite that is perfect for you.
The various members of the White Dot team have always had a shared interest in photography and film but it wasn't until 2012 that we were exposed to some of the higher end tools used for filmmaking. After speaking with industry professionals and friends who made their living using equipment like sliders, we learned that a lot of the options available on the market had serious shortcomings that made them either difficult to use, extremely costly, or cumbersome to set up and transport.
Because of our extensive work history with motion control, automation, and industrial equipment we began working on a design for an improved slider. We felt that we could offer a smooth bearing based slider that could fit a wide range of users' needs and do so at a reasonable price point.
After extensive research and using a variety of sliders available on the market, we began to form a comprehensive list of features and functions that we thought necessary for an excellent slider. After making several models digitally on the computer and sorting out any major flaws, we began to prototype the various slider components on our CNC mills and lathes. With each revision, the parts became more functional, lighter, and more attractive. To date more than 15 revisions to the original design have been made to guarantee that each part works exactly the way we intended!
Almost every part of the Satellite has evolved from it's initial design. Some of the most substantial changes have been made to the legs, carriage/wheels, and handwheel drive system. Each iteration was carefully tested for fit and function until it worked perfectly.
John Heiner - Mechanical Engineer
John started his engineering career after graduating from Brigham Young University with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2003. He immediately took a job designing and fabricating assembly line equipment for the automotive industry. In this position, he became proficient in the application of technologies such as pneumatics, hydraulics, fixturing, and other system design. Following his position working in the automotive industry, John spent the next seven years working in the aerospace industry where he participated in the design of launch vehicles (rockets). He worked closely with electrical engineers, propulsion engineers, system engineers, and manufacturers to ensure the successful design, assembly and launch of each vehicle.
Travis Humble - Industrial Designer
Travis graduated from Arizona State University in 2011, double majoring with a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Design and a Bachelors of Arts in Design Management. His ability to conceptualize artistically while remaining rooted in sound engineering practices has allowed him to innovate in his previous work environments. Travis worked for 7 years in the design and manufacture of home security products which involved extensive design of automation systems and the integration of a wide range of electronic components.
Travis’ aptitude in a variety of software platforms and model/prototyping skills aids him in developing attractive, functional solutions for consumer products.
Justin Turley - Electrical Engineer
Justin graduated with honors from DeVry University with a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering in 2003. He then began work with a company involved in the computer peripherals and telecom industries. Within six years, he was promoted to the position of Senior Electrical Engineer. He was able to gain valuable experience in a wide variety of sub-disciplines, including BLDC motor drives, power electronics, EMI filters, and digital electronics. His training also included firmware design with 8-bit to 32-bit microcontrollers, and advanced multi-layer PCB layout design. He later moved to a new position in the Instrumentation industry where he worked closely with precision analog measurement and sensing circuitry.
Throughout Justin’s many years in the industry, he has attained important experience working with and overseeing many products from conception to prototyping all the way to manufacturing.
Ron Abelar - Machinist
Ron is a third generation machinist with a wealth of experience. His journey to higher level machining began immediately after high school when he joined the U.S. Navy. He graduated with honors from the Navy Machinist/Machinery Repair "A" and "C" schools in 1997.
Since completion of his Navy service, Ron has been a part of many great manufacturing and design teams in various industries including aerospace, defense, medical, and semiconductor. Being involved with such a broad range of industries and processes has helped Ron develop a very refined sense of best manufacturing methods and techniques.
Our Manufacturing Plan
We own extremely capable CNC machines which allow us to manufacture a large percentage of the Satellite parts. Our current machine lineup includes two Vertical Machining Centers with 3 & 4 axis capabilities and two Turning Centers. This allows us to make all the milled and turned parts in house. Such as:
- Carriages and decks
- End blocks including drive shafts where necessary
- Legs and pull studs
- Handwheel components
- Cheese Plates
The rail body is made from 6063-T6 extruded aluminum which has to be made on special press equipment. For these we have found an extrusion house based in California that can produce our rail in bulk quantities. They are one of the largest extrusion manufacturers in the world and have a reputation for top quality and fast turn around times.
We have specified all stainless steel hardware on the Satellite. We source all of these components locally from a supplier in Arizona that has very high volumes on hand at any given time. Quality and speed of delivery have been top tier with this supplier.
Various rubber and plastic parts like knobs, feet for the legs, etc. also have to be sourced from suppliers that specialize in those fields. We have found several vendors in the US that have supplied us with our prototype parts. They stock the parts we need and supply levels are high.
Our journey in creating the Satellite Slider has been tremendously exciting for our team. Until now we have spent our careers developing and manufacturing products for companies in a variety of high tech industries. We are now able to use our machinery and talents to design products we are passionate about.
However, your support is still needed! We make almost all the parts for the Satellite line at our own shop here in the USA, but the few the parts that we don't make are costly. Your pledges will allow us to purchase everything for the Satellites that we don't make ourselves and to hire more machinists for the parts we do.
We hope that the Satellite Slider system is just the first of many great products that you'll come to love from White Dot!
Risks and challenges
Because we are the primary manufacturer of the Satellite Slider's components, our supply chain is fairly simple. However, if we have an unforeseen number of backers we will have to order additional rail material from our extrusion mill in California. In this circumstance, we will order additional material as early as possible to try to avoid any shipping delays.
Additionally, elements of the final packaging need to be designed so that our backers get a fantastic, well-protected product. We still have to establish a relationship with a reputable local supplier to help us manufacture the packaging.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
If your tripod uses a 1/4"-20 screw you will not need a cheese plate. If your tripod has a 3/8"-16 thread the cheese plate will be necessary. The cheese plate can also be used to attach other accessories like field monitors, recorders, etc. to your slider rig.
- (30 days)