Introduction: Adapted Camera Holder to Mount on a Wheelchair Tabletop
We adapted this camera holder for Jan. He is born with Cerebral Palsy. After falling down the stairs at the age of 32, he can only move in an electric wheelchair. Jan loves traveling and family trips. During these moments he likes to take photos. He asked for a solution to mount his camera so that he can operate it better. After some benchmarking we noticed that solutions already excist, but usually quite expensive. Also, most mounts work with a clamping system. Jan wants a more compact system that can be mounted on the wheelchair tabletop and stored easily. We have considered different solutions and creations. The final prototype is a Manfrotto tripod head (MH494-BH) equipped with a handle and a mounting system. This prototype can still be improved but is useable.
The team consisted of 1 occupational therapist and 1 handyman. We focused on the ergonomic properties and the accessibility of this device.
Below you will find instructions and files to adapt your own camera holder. Also you can use this case as an inspiration for similar cases.
Designer; Pepijn Van de Voorde
Step 1: Video
Step 2: Gather Your Supplies, Parts and Gear
We designed the camera-holder as simple as possible. The main parts (Mounting Plate and Adapter Handle) can be made with a 3D printer and finished with some metal parts. In the next step you'll find downloads for making or ordering your parts.
- Superglue (optional)
- Piece of Rubber
- 2x M5 brass threaded insert
- 1x M5 rotary knob male (with 25mm threaded rod)
- 1x M5 hex socket cap screw 30mm (inbus)
- 1x M6 hex socket cap screw 70mm (inbus)
- 1x M6 inbus screw countersunk 40mm
- 4x M6 hexagon screw 40mm
- 5x M6 lock nut
- 1x M6 hex nut
- 1x M6 rotary knob female
- 1x M10 threaded rod 30mm
- 2x 25 mm pieces of black plastic rod (20mm diameter)
- 1x metal tube, choose length yourself (13mm diameter (1/2"))
- Welding Machine
- Grinding Machine
- Hex key
- Tap and Die M10
Step 3: 3D Printing and Include Metal Parts
When you order or print the 3D parts, make sure the 3D print is well oriented. If you use the stl.-file below, there will be no problems. The part can be 3D printed in PLA material, this is strong and durable enough. Possibly you have to cut away leftovers with a fine cutter and smooth the surface using a round file and sandpaper. We ordered the 3D-parts via an online print service, and received them beautifully finished and with good quality.
It is possible to use superglue to assemble the 3D-printed parts. Anyway, even without superglue, the parts fit together well. See the pictures above to know where to attach the M5 inserts, M5 hex socket cap screw and M5 rotary knob male.
This is a difficult part. We attached the M10 threaded rod into the mounting plate centre hole. For this, we clamped the threaded rod between a vice (use a piece of rubber to avoid damaging the threaded rod). Then carefully push and turn the mounting plate onto the threaded rod. You can add some superglue or Tec7 glue between the two parts to create a better fixation. It can be that there are better methods we did not found.
Step 4: Attach 3D Prints to Holder
Unscrew the hex inbus screw countersunk in the middle of the quick release plate. Place the 3D-printed adapter between the neck and quick release plate. You need the replace the inbus screw by a larger one (40mm). Now your 3D-printed adapter is secured.
Mounting Plate (base)
The Manfrotto MH494-BH is equipped with a universal 3/8" female camera thread. Tis thread is wider than a classic M-size thread. We used an M10 tap and die to make the thread compatibel with the M10 thread rod in the centre of the mounting plate. You can now screw the two parts together.
Step 5: Mounting on the Wheelchair Tabletop
Mark the 4 drill points onto the wheelchair tabletop by using the mounting plate. Drill 4 equal holes with a 6mm plug. Be Careful because the thickness of the tabletop can vary. If you have a very small thickness, you better ad a small metal plate above and below the tabletop. In this way you create more stability.
First attach the 4 hexagon screws 40mm to the mounting plate by using the lock nuts. After this you can put the screws into the predrilled holes en lock one of the screws with a female rotary knob. Now the mounting plate is well fixed and you can easily remove it.
Step 6: Making a Handle
At first we have made a telescopic handle from a selfiestick. Unfortunatly, this handle was not stable and strong enough for this project. We replaced the selfiestick for a metal tube (13mm diameter/1/2"). Just cut the right size with a grinding machine. You can now weld a nut on one end of the metal tube.
We are making a T-handle so now we take the plastic bars. Clamp it in the vice and drill a hole (6mm) along its entire length.
Now you can take the M6 hex socket cap screw 70mm (inbus). Rig the two pieces of plastic tube onto the screw, with the M6 nut in between. Fasten everything with a lock nut.
You can now attach the handle to the 3D-printed adapter by pushing is into the large hole. Use the male rotary knob as an extra fixator.
Step 7: Take Some Photos!
Attach the camera and remote control! You can now take some beautiful pictures.