Introduction: PVC Document Station

About: Aaron Maurer is currently serving as STEM Lead for the Mississippi Bend AEA and the Founder of a non profit called 212 STEAM Labs, Inc. Prior to this he served as an Instructional Coach for Bettendorf Middle S…

People have been asking about what I am using to take photos of some of my latest builds. I finally got around to documenting and shooting a video explaining how I built my PVC Document Station.

I believe every makerspace and/or classroom should have one of these. If we are going to to place emphasis on the journey of learning and not the final product, then we need to have the spaces available for students to document their learning. Having some of these available for students will allow them to document their builds and explain their thinking behind the process. This is a pretty easy build that requires some simple measuring and cutting. I hope this helps those who are interested and I am looking forward to building these in future classes for teachers that I am about to launch for next school year!

Step 1: Video Guide

Welcome to the guide on how to create a DIY PVC Document Station

Step 2: Materials

At least 16 feet of 3/4 inch PVC. Buy an extra foot or more if you are prone to mistakes!

Foam Board to use as floor of document station. I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased the 20x30 inch boards

PVC Connectors for Frame

6 3/4 inch T elements

6 3/4 inch 90 degree elements

PVC Connectors for Camera Mounts in Video

4 1 inch T elements

1 1 inch T element with 1 threaded end

1 1 inch to 3/4 inch converter with 1 inch threaded and 3/4 inch side unthreaded

For the camera mounts, you need to decide what camera option will work best for you. Here are the elements showcased in the video build.

Camera Elements to Purcashe

RivenAn Universal Camera Quick Release Handle

2 Pcs Tripod Mini Ball Head

Ulanzi Phone Tripod Mount Adapter

Not show in video but if you have a tablet then this would work

Accmor Tablet Tripod Adapter

For cutting the PVC, I suggest a nice pair of PVC cutters

Finally, you will need a Sharpie and measuring tape

Step 3: Make Your Cuts

Cut all your pieces

Bottom Frame

4 9 inch pieces

2 14 inch pieces

2 7 inch pieces

1 21 inch piece

Top sides

2 15 inch pieces

2 6 inch pieces

Top Beams

2 20 inch pieces

Camera Mount

1 6 inch piece (3/4 inch)

2 1 inch pieces (1 inch)

Step 4: Put All Pieces Together to Check Cuts

Assemble all the elements to ensure everthing fits and moves properly. See diagram to see how I put them together

Step 5: Notch Foam Board

Mark where you will place the foam board on the base and cut out a half circle notch to allow it fit around PVC. I used the pice as a tracing guide(see image)

Step 6: Add Camera Mounts and Elements to Check Proper Viewing

Add your camera mounts and adapters. Connect your camera, phone, tablet, etc. and make sure it gives you the angle and look you desire.

UPDATE: I plan on adding a camera mount to front center of base to be able to shoot straight on. Will post pictures soon.

Step 7: Enjoy Documenting Your Builds and Work

Go forth and use. I use to shoot pictures of LEGO builds, documentary guides, tutorials, and eventually stop animation.