Introduction: DIY Camera Slider (Motorized)

About: I just created a youtube channel to give how-to's and quick previews of all the projects that I make in my garage. I decided in sign up for instructables in order to show more people my tutorials! Please suppo…

I had a broken printer, and with the scanning motor chassis, I made a motorized camera slider!

I will leave links to all the parts here, but keep in mind this project will be different for all because I used an old broken printer of mine, so the dimensions will differ from yours! But this is what using ingenuity is all about!

led pushbutton

limit switch

arduino nano:

tripod head:

continuous servo:


Step 1: Find a Chassis From an Old Printer!

The cheapest way to find a sturdy metal chassis is the reuse an old printer scanning chassis! Spare parts are awesome to use, so I just had to disassemble and locate the part in my old printer that moves left and right.

Step 2: Replace the Motor!

The motor in the scanning chassis is a standard motor that you might find in a cheap RC car, and so the torque on it is not enough to move a camera. That is why I used a geared continuous servo motor! They are not too expensive and the one I had fit well after using some bolt and nuts to put it in place. Also, it is important to be able to mount the driving gear on the servo! What I mean by this is the plastic gear on the shaft of the original motor, you need to mount that to your new motor so it is still compatible with chassis! Let me know if you have any questions about this!

Step 3: Assemble the Electronic Components!

The circuitry for this project is very simple. It essentially uses three switches, hence each paired with the 10k ohm resistors. The first main switch makes the motor go either left or right. The other two switches are on either side of the slider, and will tell the motor to stop if either one if pressed! The buzzer is optional and just for beep sounds!

Step 4: Code!

code is really simple!

if button on pin2 is pressed, the motor turns one direction.

if either button pin3 or pin4 are pressed, the motor stops and moves in the opposite way a tiny bit.

it is kept track which way it has stopped, and thus when the pin2 button is pressed again, the motor goes the other way.

Step 5: 3D Printing!

These are the STL files for mine, but please take note they are the first prototypes, so there are still a lot of improvements that can be done! also the screw holes fit only the printer chassis I was working with, so you most likely will need to model your own or modify the file.

Step 6: Solder and Assemble!

Soldering is used to make a smaller and more permanent form factor! I just moved all the components on the breadboard to a PCB!

And I used limit switches that are more fit for the stop switches we need at each end of the slider!

And also you need two mounts, one to mount your camera on and one to mount the camera slider to a tripod! Keep this in mind!

Other than that assembling is tedious and time-consuming, but the result is worth it. And do not get discouraged is it does not work out the first time! You will learn more from correcting failure than succeeding. Goodluck!