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The Lifthor V3 mount is definitely not worth $70

OmniDrone Aerial

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I just got my Lifthor V3 and I have to say - I am not impressed by any means. For $70 the overall quality and value is just not there.

Not to be that guy, but, I have a BS in Plastics Engineering (UW-Stout) and extensive manufacturing experience directly involving thermoplastic component production and assembly process flow. The design itself is cloogey, clunky, and the components are of sub-par build quality with inexpensive raw materials. The components of the V3 are made from acrylic, or PMMA (poly methyl methacrylate). This is a commodity based resin; acrylic is cheap and the structural and mechanical characteristics reflect that fact. Pelican hard cases aren't made out of PMMA for a reason (they are made from some type of glass-reinforced engineering grade polymer). If the Lifthor V3 were made out of a higher quality engineering grade resin, such as ABS, PC, PC-ABS, glass-reinforced nylon, etc., I probably wouldn't be motivated to write this. It's obvious by looking at the curled edges of the frame how this part was manufactured. It began as a standard acrylic sheet from which the initial shape was cut out with an automated laser (accounting for the slightly jagged edges). Next, the acrylic template is heated to the glass-transition temperature of said material, thereby allowing it to be shaped around forms or male molds. This manner of processing can be stressful to thermoplastics on a molecular level, and inherently creates weak points. I have very low expectations for the life span of one of these mounts. If the Lifthor V3 frame were injection molded as opposed to heat formed, I may not be motivated to write this. What's more, if you weren't using a lanyard, and one of these inherently weak joints decides to fail - there goes your monitor device falling to the pavement. Additionally, without the lanyard, this thing is awkwardly balanced, and doesn't feel very comfortable to hold. The mount is not intuitive to fasten to the controller, and I had to fumble with it more than I wanted in order to secure it on the controller. A widget that performs such a simple task should do it well, at least for $70. The mount consumes a large amount of space and requires being broken down into multiple pieces for each use. It almost needs a case of it's own it's so oddly shaped. If the Lifthor V3 were better designed such that it were collapsible and didn't take up such a large footprint while at the same time being easier to use, I may not be motivated to write this.

I almost want to CAD one up myself in Solidworks and spin it on my 3D printer.. if only I had the time.

tl;dr $70 is highway robbery for the overall value and quality of the Lifthor V3. I would not trust your expensive equipment to this cheaply made mount. The irony is the claim they make on their website "cause it's more than just a toy" because their product is made from the same materials as children's toys.
 
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Thats sad...same material as kids toys.
Marketing backfire, lol.
Thanks for the heads up [emoji19]
Even legos are molded from engineering grade ABS.. due to the fact that it's durable and tight tolerances can be accomplished. I mean... what these guys are doing is basically the equivalent of putting a hair dryer to a sheet of poly and bending it when it gets hot enough. There's bound to be micro stresses that could potentially propagate.
 
I don't want to make the claim that this product won't get you by... but i wanted to highlight some of the fundamental issues I see that many are unaware of.
 
All it has to do is hold an iPad that weighs less than a pound. It doesn’t have to lift a car.
 
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Hmm, only had mine a short time and I have found :

Excellent balance either hand held or with a (test) lanyard.
Lightweight so you can fly a couple of batteries easily handheld without wrists etc getting strained. (I haven’t yet worked out what lanyard to set up for it.)
The iPad mini 4 holder seems to be the same standard as other holders I use for 4WD trips holding navigation iPads etc on dash.

The one thing I agree with is the main arm is clunky to store and transport.
I have to place it in a top pocket of my drone backpack and pack things around it.

It does say in the website “Material: 6 mm Acrylic and PVC.”
 
View attachment 22895 I just got my Lifthor V3 and I have to say - I am not impressed by any means. I may not have been motivated to write this if the price were more reasonable, but for $70 the overall quality and value is just not there.

Not to be that guy, but, I have a BS in Plastics Engineering (UW-Stout) and extensive manufacturing experience directly involving thermoplastic component production and assembly process flow. The design itself is cloogey, clunky, and the components are of sub-par build quality with inexpensive raw materials. The components of the V3 are made from acrylic, or PMMA (poly methyl methacrylate). This is a commodity based resin; acrylic is cheap and the structural and mechanical characteristics reflect that fact. Pelican hard cases aren't made out of PMMA for a reason (they are made from some type of glass-reinforced engineering grade polymer). If the Lifthor V3 were made out of a higher quality engineering grade resin, such as ABS, PC, PC-ABS, glass-reinforced nylon, etc., I probably wouldn't be motivated to write this. It's obvious by looking at the curled edges of the frame how this part was manufactured. It began as a standard acrylic sheet from which the initial shape was cut out with an automated laser (accounting for the slightly jagged edges). Next, the acrylic template is heated to the glass-transition temperature of said material, thereby allowing it to be shaped around forms or male molds. This manner of processing can be stressful to thermoplastics on a molecular level, and inherently creates weak points. I have very low expectations for the life span of one of these mounts. If the Lifthor V3 frame were injection molded as opposed to heat formed, I may not be motivated to write this. What's more, if you weren't using a lanyard, and one of these inherently weak joints decides to fail - there goes your monitor device falling to the pavement. Additionally, without the lanyard, this thing is awkwardly balanced, and doesn't feel very comfortable to hold. The mount is not intuitive to fasten to the controller, and I had to fumble with it more than I wanted in order to secure it on the controller. A widget that performs such a simple task should do it well, at least for $70. The mount consumes a large amount of space and requires being broken down into multiple pieces for each use. It almost needs a case of it's own it's so oddly shaped. If the Lifthor V3 were better designed such that it were collapsible and didn't take up such a large footprint while at the same time being easier to use, I may not be motivated to write this.

I'm going to be emailing them for a refund. I now know there are much more reasonably priced alternatives, something I should have done the due diligence to research prior to making my purchase. This device is sub-par in almost every department - which to me suggests the motive of greed or a general lack of knowledge on the manufacturer's part, perhaps a combination of both. I almost want to CAD one up myself in Solidworks and spin it on my 3D printer.. if only I had the time.

tl;dr $70 is highway robbery for the overall value and quality of the Lifthor V3. I would not trust your expensive equipment to this cheaply made mount. The irony is the claim they make on their website "cause it's more than just a toy" because their product is made from the same materials as children's toys. View attachment 22895

Don't hold back now, tell us how you really feel. j/k ;)

Seriously though... why not take all that knowledge and put it to use designing & making your own? It sounds like you know what you're doing... and of course you can go to Shapeways for the prototype printing...
 
Totally disagree with your review!
Balance is good, material is ok and really like how the iPad stands.

Ok for transportation but with a lanyard I just put it on my shoulder like the DJI bag and it’s fine.

The RC holds well with the mounts and it’s not moving. You can adjust the iPad position which is also appreciated.

Love it and use it for now each fly !

I have also another mount which is the skyreat and not really like how I have to lower my head to see the screen (neck surgery a few months ago).

Someone spoke about Lego, you just can’t compare this society with the one doing Lego.... absolutely not the same budget....

In some other thread I read also about some interferences with the antennas which I never face.

A little expensive but really good product !
 
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Totally disagree with your review!
Balance is good, material is ok and really like how the iPad stands.

Ok for transportation but with a lanyard I just put it on my shoulder like the DJI bag and it’s fine.

The RC holds well with the mounts and it’s not moving. You can adjust the iPad position which is also appreciated.

Love it and use it for now each fly !

I have also another mount which is the skyreat and not really like how I have to lower my head to see the screen (neck surgery a few months ago).

Someone spoke about Lego, you just can’t compare this society with the one doing Lego.... absolutely not the same budget....

In some other thread I read also about some interferences with the antennas which I never face.

A little expensive but really good product !

The entire theme of my original post - just like the title says - is that this piece of equipment is not worth $70.

After having used the mount a couple times now, I feel okay about it's function. Though even with that, not worth $70. Current methods of manufacture can introduce internal stresses which can lead to weaknesses and failures.

If all the components were made from engineering grade polymers I would not feel ripped off, and that's the bottom line.
 
Yes the whole original review was a bit over-cooked on some aspects.

Just got mine out and yes, looks like black acrylic, Lasercut and obviously bent around forms, quite possibly each done by hand on a production line.
I know too because I’ve been bending 3mm and 4.5mm clear acrylic over such forms for a few of our products for a good 15 years now.
With (guessing minimum) 15000 to 20000 units made to date over 20 years I hope your wrong about failure expectancies.
We’ve had a few fail during extreme testing during production, but only enough to count on 2 hands of fingers fail under most likely slightly heavy handed customer use in that time.
Happy with all aspects of my Lifthor but especially balance, comfort, lightness, design, and the excellent visibility of both iPad screen and controller buttons / screen.
 
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Yes the whole original review was a bit over-cooked on some aspects.

Just got mine out and yes, looks like black acrylic, Lasercut and obviously bent around forms, quite possibly each done by hand on a production line.
I know too because I’ve been bending 3mm and 4.5mm clear acrylic over such forms for a few of our products for a good 15 years now.
With (guessing minimum) 15000 to 20000 units made to date over 20 years I hope your wrong about failure expectancies.
We’ve had a few fail during extreme testing during production, but only enough to count on 2 hands of fingers fail under most likely slightly heavy handed customer use in that time.
Happy with all aspects of my Lifthor but especially balance, comfort, lightness, design, and the excellent visibility of both iPad screen and controller buttons / screen.
I agree that perhaps I went a bit overboard with the original review. Nonetheless, my feelings remain the same, and all revolve around the price point.

3-10% scrap rates are typical for established thermoplastic manufacturing processes. Statistically speaking, there's no possible way you've had less than 10 failures. That's not logically feasible. Unless you're Toyota, who pioneered six-sigma manufacturing (which I won't go into detail). I don't want to dismiss your knowledge, expertise, or experience whatsoever. I mean, the stuff 'works'. It's just not worth my $70.
 
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Don't hold back now, tell us how you really feel. j/k ;)

Seriously though... why not take all that knowledge and put it to use designing & making your own? It sounds like you know what you're doing... and of course you can go to Shapeways for the prototype printing...

Honestly I could.. and would love to, but it comes down to time and resources. I have the industry knowledge regarding plastic part design, CAD modeling, prototyping, tooling design, machining and injection molding processing (plus a myriad of secondary and odd processes). No need for Shapeways, as I have a 3D printer of my own and a CAD workstation that runs Solidworks for the modeling. Pretty much got it covered until it comes to the capital resources required to get something like that off the ground, which far surpass starting a drone business. So here I am :)

I appreciate everyone challenging my original review.
 
Hmm, only had mine a short time and I have found :

Excellent balance either hand held or with a (test) lanyard.
Lightweight so you can fly a couple of batteries easily handheld without wrists etc getting strained. (I haven’t yet worked out what lanyard to set up for it.)
The iPad mini 4 holder seems to be the same standard as other holders I use for 4WD trips holding navigation iPads etc on dash.

The one thing I agree with is the main arm is clunky to store and transport.
I have to place it in a top pocket of my drone backpack and pack things around it.

It does say in the website “Material: 6 mm Acrylic and PVC.”
Yes, functionally = adequate
It does a fine job of holding my ipad4 securely. No issues with that.

But, it increases the setup time it takes before I can fly after arriving at a destination. It is also very hard to store and transport, which is a large detraction for me.

PVC is also a commodity grade material I would not trust to engineering grade products.
 
I'd just like to reiterate - Pelican hard cases aren't made from acrylic and PVC for a reason.
 
I'd just like to reiterate - Pelican hard cases aren't made from acrylic and PVC for a reason.

Given the pictures of this item that are out there - I'm surprised you couldn't identify the type of material used and avoid buying the item in the first place.
 
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I'd just like to reiterate - Pelican hard cases aren't made from acrylic and PVC for a reason.
What an absurd analogy. This tablet holder isn't a Pelican case and isn't required to hold up to the kind of abuse that Pelican cases do. You want to know why? Because Pelican cases, by form and function, are protective gear. You might as well complain that the Lifthor isn't made of Kevlar so it can't stand up to a bullet. Well, it's not supposed to. It also isn't waterproof like Pelican cases, so it's not going to keep my controller and tablet dry, either.

Now, if we were talking about a protective Mavic carrying case being made out of acrylic you'd have a point.

The Lifthor is a tablet holder, designed to hold a one-pound tablet. The acrylic it's made from is more than adequate to do that. I've read zero complaints from people who have bought one that it's crumbling to dust because of internal stresses.

You yourself provide the reasoning why the Lifthor is probably made the way it is: "Pretty much got it covered until it comes to the capital resources required to get something like that off the ground"

So you have the technical knowledge but not the capital to start actually building and selling the product. The maker of the Lifthor figured out how to do it by using a more cost-effective manufacturing technique and materials that are more than sufficient for what they're called upon to do.

In the end, I appreciate that because, despite the bulkiness issue, the Lifthor is a unique, functional design that offers better balance than other tablet mounts while also allowing me to see the controller screen.
 
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I just love when people state there degree or level of education. The best is when someone needs to say they are a Professional Photographer.
 
What an absurd analogy. This tablet holder isn't a Pelican case and isn't required to hold up to the kind of abuse that Pelican cases do. You want to know why? Because Pelican cases, by form and function, are protective gear. You might as well complain that the Lifthor isn't made of Kevlar so it can't stand up to a bullet. Well, it's not supposed to. It also isn't waterproof like Pelican cases, so it's not going to keep my controller and tablet dry, either.

Now, if we were talking about a protective Mavic carrying case being made out of acrylic you'd have a point.

The Lifthor is a tablet holder, designed to hold a one-pound tablet. The acrylic it's made from is more than adequate to do that. I've read zero complaints from people who have bought one that it's crumbling to dust because of internal stresses.

You yourself provide the reasoning why the Lifthor is probably made the way it is: "Pretty much got it covered until it comes to the capital resources required to get something like that off the ground"

So you have the technical knowledge but not the capital to start actually building and selling the product. The maker of the Lifthor figured out how to do it by using a more cost-effective manufacturing technique and materials that are more than sufficient for what they're called upon to do.

In the end, I appreciate that because, despite the bulkiness issue, the Lifthor is a unique, functional design that offers better balance than other tablet mounts while also allowing me to see the controller screen.

Yeah, manufacturing parts out of the cheapest material possible is what 90% of companies who make plastic products do, and in no way does that make them resourceful. Because of my experience I am able to tell the difference between high-quality and adequate manufacturing. The vast majority of consumers think plastic is plastic.

If I had one Lifthor V3 made out of cheap current materials, and one made from engineering grade polymers, which one do you think would last longer?

I guess I just demand a higher standard of quality for my dollar. Still not worth $70
 
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