Let's build a simple turntable that rotates light objects precisely and fully automated.
Together with an arduino based controller that will control the stepper motor and the camera shutter, we'll create a powerful tool for automated 360° product photography. The controller is described in a different instructable:
Now let's start with the turntable.
Step 1: Gather Parts and Tools and Files
Files (find download links below)
- Parts list and explosion graphic (PDF)
- Eps files for lasercutting (zipped)
3x Lasercut Acrylic Plates, 3mm thick
Download the template eps-files (see below) and place your order at Ponoko(american/international users) or Formulor(german/european users). Choose one of the 3mm/0.118 inches acrylic P1-Plates in a color you like. For my turntable prototypes, I choosed the material “Acrylic - Black (Matte 1-Side)”. If you have access to an own lasercutting machine or if you want to use a different service, just import the vectorpaths from the eps-files' layer named "Your Design" into your preferred program.
1x Bearing „Lazy Susan“
Hole distance top: 81mm
Hole distance bottom: 90mm
Inner diameter: 54mm
1x Drive Dog / Diver Disc
5mm inner diameter (must fit to the stepper motor shaft)
1x Stepper Motor
NEMA 17 with 5mm shaft diameter
(max height determined by the height of the female-female spacers, see step 4 for further information)
4x Rubber Feet
Screws, nuts, bolts
• 4x Countersunk Screws, M3 x 8mm
• 8x Pan Head Screws, M3 x 8mm
• 4x Lens Head Screws, M3 x 14mm
• 4x Self Locking Nuts, M3
• 4x Washers M3, 9mm outer diameter (washers should fit into the rubber feet. You can also buy rubber feet with integrated washers)
• 4x Female-Male Standoff Spacer, M3 x 15mm
• 4x Female-Female Standoff Spacer, M3 x 35mm (please note: the height of the "female-female standoff spacer" determines the maximum height of the stepper motor, which is here 35mm.)
I also prepared some kits that include all the parts you need to build your own turntable - except the stepper motor:
- Some Allen keys
- Phillips screwdrivers
- A drilling machine with countersunk drill
Step 2: Prepare Acrylic Plates
At first you should peel of the protective foils from the acrylic plates. Sometimes it can be helpful to carefully warm up the foils with a hair dryer.
Since we want to use countersunk screws to fix the "upper plate", we need to prepare the four inner lasercut holes accordingly.
Step 3: Mount Motor on Middle Plate
Put the stepper motor through the middle plate. Make sure that the holes of the motor match the correct holes in the plate. Use four of the M3x8mm pan head screws to fix the motor.
Step 4: Add Distant Bolts
Put the 15mm female-male spacers through the plate. Screw the 35mm female-female spacers against them.
Please note that the "female-female spacers" determine the maximum height of the stepper motor, which is here 35mm. If you want to use a higher stepper motor, you have to choose higher standoff spacers accordingly or add additional female-male-spacers. For example, you could add 4 additional female-male spacers with 30mm, this would allow a motor height up to 65mm.
Step 5: Add Bottom Plate
Turn over the construction and put the bottom plate on top.
Now place the washers into the rubber feet, insert the M3x14mm lens head screws and attach everything to the construction.
Step 6: Mount Lazy Susan Bearing
Place the bearing on top of the spacers.
Make sure the the bearing's side with the 90mm hole-distance is facing down. Use four M3x8mm pan head Screws to fix it.
Step 7: Fix Drivedog
Put the drivedog on the motor shaft and tighten the screw.
The drivedog should protrude about 2mm above the bearing.
Step 8: Add Upper Plate
Put the top plate on the drivedog.
Turn over the construction and place the holes of the bearing to match the holes in the acrylic plate.
Insert the M3x8mm countersunk screws (from below through the hole) and tighten the nuts.
Step 9: The Final Turntable
If you did everything right, your turntable should look like it is shown in the above 360° image sequence. Sure, this sequence was made with a second FluxGarage turntable and a white acrylic plate on top of it :)
Step 10: Next Step: Build the Controller
The next step will be to bring the turntable to live. We'll create an arduino + easydriver based controller to control the stepper motor and the camera shutter. Find the detailed instructions here:
If you like this stuff, you can find more of this at www.fluxgarage.com