360 Degree Photo Shooting Rig From a Broken CD-ROM Drive


Introduction: 360 Degree Photo Shooting Rig From a Broken CD-ROM Drive

About: Just a guy tinkering away in a lab ...

OK guys, my first Instructable here, just learning the ropes, so starting with the simplest project ever.

Suppose you have a small 3d object, such as the objet d'art shown on the video here and you need to present a 360 view of it, so you need a bunch of pictures taken. Using a ready-made lazy suzan is really just for super-lazy people :) and regardless, it may just be too big for the object and unsightly on the pictures.

So, we are going to make a small and inconspicuous 360 degree photo shooting rig out of a broken CD-ROM drive

You are going to need a few things:

* obviously a broken CD/DVD/Bluray drive, preferably from a laptop although desktop will do, too
* 4 CD/DVD disks you no longer need
* some glue
* 6 or 8 small rubber feet with sticky back

Step 1
Basically, the build starts with you finding a donor CD/DVD drive, preferably from a laptop because laptop CD drives have spindle with little latches that help hold the CD. Once you got it, keep breaking it down until you get a little green (most of the time) PCB with the motor that rotates the CD (the motor itself is inside the spindle - also an interesting parts in itself, more on it in another instructable)

Step 2
Glue together 2 CDs . 2 is  for strength. Single CD either on the base or on the top makes the rig too wobbly. Locktite super glue in gel form worked fine for me. These will become the base of the rig

Step 3
Glue the PCB with CD spindle to the base CDs, try to make the center of the spindle coincide with the center of CDs but it's just aesthetics - it won't prevent normal operation if you miss the center by some margin.

Step 4
Glue one CD to the top of the spindle by putting the glue onto the spindle's top and putting a CD on it as you would put it on normally.

Step 5
Glue another CD ontop of the one in Step 4 you may need to use a nibber tool or a file to make three little notches on the inside of the CD's internal hole to accommodate for the little latches that hold the first disk.

Step 6
Give the contraption some time for the glue to dry and turn it upside down. Then stick rubber feet onto the bottom CD. You'll need at least 6 - three on the outer edge and three closer to the middle to help support the weight of the pieces  you'll be taking pictures of.

Step 7
Turn it right side up and enjoy!


The little sculpture in the video is "Little Moth" by Tanya Abaimova of SunnyFaces Whimsical Art Dolls
The music in the video is  "No Frills Cumbia" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com ) Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0" http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/



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    If you rig a 9 volt battery to a Potentiometer and lead the cables to the bottom of the mini motor you could make the motor spin and control its speed.

    1 reply

    Thanks for stopping by!

    It might have worked if it were a DC motor but, unfortunately, it is not. It's a three phase BLDC (brushless DC) motor that needs a special circuit to drive it. I'm getting pictures and description ready for another instructable here that will describe how to actually drive the motor (although not for a photo shoot rig - it would rotate too fast) - check back in a few days, I should be able to post it by then.


    Great idea, I made some time ago something similar to 360 spray/airbrush painting, to turn piece without touching,

    I made it simple, with holder part of one CD case, and one CD cause I want it desposable.

    Maybe you can attach yours, one string or two to turn without touching.

    1 reply

    You mean, wind a string around the spindle (that's under the CDs glued to it) and then pull on it to turn the table? Sure, it's entirely possible! The spindle provides a nice smooth barrel approx 1" (25mm) in diameter to wind the string around. Thanks or the tip! I never needed a no-hands operation before and that's a great way to do it in a pinch.

    Pretty cool idea. You know, if you figure out the pinouts for the electric motor you might be able to automate the tabletop's spin.

    3 replies

    Thanks, CementTruck! I already did, it will be in the next instructable. The pinout of the motor is actually very easy - it's three contacts and you cannot go wrong in either combination - it will just affect the direction of rotation. There are more PCB traces coming into the motor but the thinner ones are for the sensors that are in there, so the three thicker ones are the only ones needed.

    The problem here is not the pinout per se but the fact that these motors need to operate at much higher RPMs than what's safe for the piece you're shooting - you don't want it to fly off the wheel, obviously. I have a somewhat working prototype and I'm figuring that rotation speed out now and will post an update here as soon as it's workable.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Just a little friendly advice, you've got a lot of nice photos, and a decent amount of steps, you should use instructable's "built in" steps, and use the photo's that apply to the step.

    You've gotten a great start into the world of DIY show and tell. Hope to see more of your work as I'd like to get into DSLR photography sooner or later.

    Thanks, CementTruck! I thought you needed a pro account for those step-by-step instructables. Maybe I just didn't look around hard enough. Definitely something I need to try next time.