Instructables
Picture of Panoramic Tripod Head Using T-Slot Aluminum
The purpose of this head is to allow you to rotate your camera about its nodal point / exit pupil, letting you take a series of photos in all directions, without any parallax error.

Once you take the photos, you can process them through various pieces of software to produce a single image that can cover up to a full 360° - including the ceiling and floor underneath you.

I made my head primarily out of 20x20mm T-Slot aluminum that I purchased from Misumi. Instead of designing it all in advance and having Misumi ship me the precise correct length pieces, I have a couple meters of the material that I keep at home for various projects like this.

Fabrication of the head involved cutting the T-slot material to the right length, deburring / polishing the ends, cutting a few holes, and tapping screw threads into a piece of steel for attaching it to my tripod.

I made it in the metal shop at TechShop

Step 1: Understanding the Design

Before you cut anything, you should understand the design and consider what changes, if any, you need.

I ended up making the pieces a lot longer than I needed to. I will likely go back and shorten many of them.

You should also of course determine what hardware you need. Misumi has a very, very broad range of hardware. The prices vary enormously. There are some really nifty components that can add a lot to the cost.

For the nuts, I used spring-loaded post insertion nuts. This means that they don't slide around, and you can insert them in the middle of a rod - they are quite narrow. The standard nuts must be inserted at the end of a rod, so if you have something already assembled you may need to take it apart to insert a nut.

If you don't already know the distances needed for your camera's exit pupil alignment, you may want to make a longer version first and then chop off excess material.
 
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cool, do you have any panoramic pics to share? is it fairly easy to adjust the mount so that you can take horizontal panoramic shots?
gopiballava (author)  amandaghassaei2 years ago
I take spherical panoramas, which means I don't actually need to get the horizontal alignment right when I'm taking them. I can adjust it as much as I want in Hugin, the stitching package I use. I'll try to post something.