DIY Motorized Camera Slider From Four 3D Printed Parts

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Introduction: DIY Motorized Camera Slider From Four 3D Printed Parts

About: Hey! I'm a maker and an electrical engineering student from germany

Hello makers, it's maker moekoe!

Today I wanna show you how to build a very useful linear camera slider based on a V-Slot/Openbuilds rail, Nema17 stepper motor and only four 3D printed parts.

A few days ago I decided to invest into a better camera for recording my Instagram and Youtube footages. That's the reason why I want to build some camera tools which makes my footages better and more interesting. First build of my 'how to get better videos' is this simple but very handy camera slider.

Step 1: Get Inspired!

First of all, go watch this video! It has all the informations about the build of the camera slider. Some additional informations, PCB and 3D files can be found here in this Instructable.

Step 2: Parts for the Camera Slider!

As I am using the Openbuilds V-Slot system you won't use plenty of parts to build your own slider.

  1. The four 3D printed parts (see next section)
  2. 4x V-Slot rail bearings
  3. 1x V-Slot linear rail 2060
  4. 1x Nema17 stepper motor
  5. 1x GT2 pulley 20 teeth
  6. 1x GT2 belt (length: ~ 2 x rail length * 1,3)
  7. 4x M3 10mm screws
  8. 4x M3 washers
  9. 4x M5 threaded inserts *
  10. 2x M3 threaded inserts *
  11. 4x M5 40mm screws
  12. 2x M3 15mm screws
  13. 12x M5 washers
  14. 1x 1/4" screw *
  15. 1x 1/4" ball joint for cameras *

Of course, the length of the rail determines the length of the slider. The GT2 belt should be double the length of the slider plus 30% on top for the pivot points and the belt tensioner.

You can use whatever stepper driver you want, but I can recommend the TMC2130 (or 2208, ...) because it comes with an easy SPI interface, 1/256 microstepping interpolation and silent smoothing operations. It is the best controller for this case. If you want to build the same controller like me, you will additionally need these parts:

  1. 1x ESP32 WROOM MCU
  2. 1x 0.96" 128x64 oled display
  3. 1x TMC2031 stepper driver
  4. 1x EC11 rotary encoder
  5. 2x silicon push button
  6. 1x AMS1117 3v3 voltage regulator
  7. Capacitors 0603
  8. Resistors 0603
  9. Pinheaders

Step 3: The Slider!

Basic concept of this slider is the Openbuilds system. I have chosen a one meter Openbuilds rail as a base and my slider uses four of the v-slotted rail bearings. The slider is not limited to the length, you can make it even longer.

The 3D printed parts are designed for the use of a three or four wheeled slider. I still don't figured out what is the best solution here. Make sure not to waste your threaded inserts with putting them in all six holes and only use three or four inserts at the correct positions.

Step 4: The Controller Stack!

The only electrical part of the slider is the stepper motor, so you are able to run the slider without the need of this controller. But it is very handy and comes with several possibilities in a small case. Additionally you can use my 3D printed 12V BOSCH battery mount to drive the whole system on the go. You will find it here.

Currently the controller is programmed to adjust following settings:

  • Two modes:
    • Time Mode: Drive the desired length in the specified time
    • Length Mode: Drive the desired length at the specified speed
  • Time [s] (Time Mode)
  • Length [cm] - the length the slider will move (max. rail length - 10cm, because the slider needs some space as well)
  • Speed [cm/s] (Length Mode)
  • Acceleration [cm/s^2]
  • Direction - the moving direction of the slider (M: Motor side, W: Wheel side)
  • Delay [ms] - (for Direction Mode M<->W, where the slider alternates from one to another point)

The needed parts are specified a few steps above. Like shown in the video, I have soldered my PCBs at home with my homemade soldering iron from an old clothes flat iron. For further information to the iron you can check out this post.

And the code, well, just 750 lines of code :D The UI is written by myself, without the use of any library except the Adafruit GFX lib. If you have questions then just let me know.

Once a day I will create a Blynk interface for the controller as well. But that is not the most important part here.

Step 5: Go Build Your Own!

Next step of this project is to build a rotating axis on the slider itself, so that it can track points and objects.

Hope that you enjoyed reading this instructable and may found a way to build your own slider!
Feel free to check out my Instagram, Website and Youtube channel for more informations about the slider and other awesome projects! If you have questions or something is missing then please let me know in the comments below!

Have fun creating! :)

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    13 Comments

    0
    Kinglead
    Kinglead

    Tip 13 days ago

    Am glad, going through the code to understand how it works and be extended for similar work.

    Thanks for taken time to document such a time consuming taste of design, planning, sorting for materials, infact Idea Concept translated to working project worths it.

    Bless.

    0
    ortizgab
    ortizgab

    3 months ago

    Hi!
    And what about the code?
    This would be of great help.

    0
    Kinglead
    Kinglead

    Reply 13 days ago

    The code is above in the list of links to download under step 4.. with 20.20.. download button on the right.

    0
    Arnov Sharma
    Arnov Sharma

    23 days ago

    I remember seeing this on instagram last year, this is 💯

    0
    barmer
    barmer

    4 months ago

    Привет!
    Сайт на который ссылаешься не отвечает.
    С тобой всё в порядке?

    0
    bg8eqb
    bg8eqb

    8 months ago

    Thank you very much for sharing. I like this project, but unfortunately I cannot open the "cameraslider.sch" file with EAGLE. cameraslider—BOT.sch can be opened.
    0
    galaxy.smart
    galaxy.smart

    Question 9 months ago on Step 3

    Is the circuit board for the control unit a proprietary development or can it be purchased fully assembled and soldered?

    0
    Matteo1978
    Matteo1978

    Question 10 months ago on Introduction

    Hi, i like your idea and the attention for ONLY detail. I want to build it, but i have a sony a6500 (500 gr) with a long lens (15 cm is the lenght and 1 kg is the weight ) , can i use this slider with my camera? thanks
    sigma.jpg
    0
    seerena
    seerena

    1 year ago

    Thanks for this wonderful guide

    0
    smdavee
    smdavee

    1 year ago on Step 5

    WOW! Your projects and production values are top-notch. I've been looking to build a programmable slider for quite some time. Your design here will help me continue to develop my own. Thanks for the inspiration, and your generosity in sharing such inspiring creativity!

    0
    moekoe
    moekoe

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you so much! Glad to hear that it can help somebody :)
    Have fun and regards,
    Moritz

    0
    jorge.mar7in
    jorge.mar7in

    1 year ago on Step 4

    Hi there, that's a really good project. I've downloaded the code but I miss the preferences.h file to check the entire program. Could you upload it? Thanks in advance.

    0
    moekoe
    moekoe

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hey Jorge,
    seems you are not using the newest Arduino IDE or you have to choose the correct board from the board manager (Generic ESP32). The Preferences library is a buildin library.
    Regards,
    Moritz