Acrobat Cable Cam

28,108

641

16

Introduction: Acrobat Cable Cam

About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.

As I've been making instructables, I've had a good time making videos for my projects. This creation gives me a chance to flex my creative license. It's an all angles cable trolley for your camera. It gives a way to film rolling or panning shots from both a bird's eye or worm's eye view. You can use it on a zip line, pull it along, or hold in your hands. It's powered by me or gravity. No servos, gyros, or motors.

I made it to fit all my cameras which are 5" wide and smaller. This includes cameras like the GoPro and iPhone as long as you have a tripod mount.

You can find the CAD file in Step 1. You can also support a project for it on Kickstarter.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/699604098/acrobat-cable-cam-an-all-angles-camera-trolley

Step 1: Prototyping and AutoCAD

The very first prototype was made from aluminum flat bar and screen door wheels. After playing around with it a model in real life I turned to AutoCAD. A few hundred mouse clicks later. I had this design. I like to make paper models before getting it cut. Since it looked good I went to the the laser cutter.

Step 2: Forming the Parts

I added holes to help me form the parts. With two holes at each bend I was able to line them up in my vise by sticking hobby files through them. From there I used a rubber hammer to fold the part over. This kind of aluminum is not very good for 90 degree angles so I would use more of a radius next time around.

Step 3: Smoothing the Edges

Right off the laser cutter, the parts have a sharp edge. I used my trusty little tumbler to knock the edges down. If you're not familiar with a tumbler it's basically a vibrating container filled with an abrasive. In this case I tumbled the parts over night.

Step 4: Putting It All Together

After all the angles were formed in I picked up a whole bunch of hardware. It's all labeled in the first image. My original wheels weren't precision made by any means. That was a problem because it caused a lot of vibration in the filming. I upgraded to a larger better made wheel and that helped a lot.

Step 5: String It Up

I found that if you put too much tension in the line it acts like a violin string. With a little wind it vibrates and actually puts out a pitch. I had a good time with it. People who saw it in passing also thought it was fun. Thanks for reading.

Tools Contest

Participated in the
Tools Contest

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Make it Glow Contest

      Make it Glow Contest
    • First Time Author Contest

      First Time Author Contest
    • Anything Goes Contest

      Anything Goes Contest

    16 Discussions

    0
    horus_m
    horus_m

    1 year ago

    hello balleng,one thing i am posting often is that many videos has music meanwhile someone is expalining something, that is not good for a good understanding and concentrating in the speach. but just a comment, now i gues ... what happen if a spring on a little slider pull up the central bearing, could it control the speed of the rig, i appreciate your opinion and comments, excellent project of course!.

    0
    feffendi
    feffendi

    4 years ago

    As a young senior high school student, i found this idea soo good. It's just perfect for people without lots of income, just like students.

    0
    cristoph
    cristoph

    5 years ago

    Is there an alternate material I could make this from

    0
    Lukuky
    Lukuky

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Amazing! If you attached a gimble to it it would go even smother.

    0
    and7barton
    and7barton

    5 years ago on Introduction

    I have only one thing to say about this - A very long wire, and a trip to Cheddar Gorge.

    0
    YaënD
    YaënD

    5 years ago on Introduction

    when a thing is genius, people says "oh why I didn't think about it ? it so simple !" that's what I said. :D

    0
    MikeFromOlney

    Ummm...new school idsea....make it a 3d printable. Lighter, no sharp edges. :)

    0
    askjerry
    askjerry

    5 years ago on Introduction

    I think that adding a servo to the idler wheel (center) and one to either the pan or tilt... would allow you to have it travel the path at a smooth rate... and pan an object as it passed. Wouldn't take much to add that as an option.

    Nice design.

    0
    nextpt
    nextpt

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice work, i think you can easily sell this idea.

    0
    NathanSellers
    NathanSellers

    5 years ago

    That is so cool. Way to take it to the next level.

    0
    Robokidd_00
    Robokidd_00

    5 years ago

    this is very very cool! good use of your skills. would be sweet if u uploaded a sample video from it in action!

    0
    Mrballeng
    Mrballeng

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    There is a video in the intro. Here is the link just incase. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMOvBf_7TlU&list=UUuQYLUgUkv_IGLW2OFQVhSA

    0
    fruitvalien
    fruitvalien

    5 years ago

    Really cool ! I might try this!

    0
    arlod2
    arlod2

    5 years ago

    I am totally impressed!
    * Everybody should model in paper first.
    * The locating holes are genius!
    * The design itself is very well thought out.
    * Your exploded view photo is very informative.
    * The finish on the parts after a night in the tumbler looks very professional.

    Anyone with a small camera and a regular income should invest in this.