“This project has been one of my favorite projects since I got to combine my interest of video-making with DIY. Ive always looked at and wanted to emulate those cinematic shots in movies where a camera moves across a screen while panning to track the object. This adds a very interesting depth effect to an otherwise 2d video. Wanting to replicate this without spending thousands of dollars on Hollywood gear, I decided to build such a camera slider myself.
The whole project is built on parts you can 3D print, and the code runs on the popular Arduino board. All the project files such as the CAD files & code are available for download down below.
CAD/ 3D print files available here
Arduino Code file available here
The project revolves around the 2 geared brushed DC motors and the Basic Micro Roboclaw Motor controller. This motor controller can transform brushed DC motors into a superior type of servo with incredible positional accuracy, tons of torque, and a full 360 degrees of rotation. More on this later.
Before we continue, do watch the video tutorial linked here first. That tutorial will give you an overview of how to build this project and this Instructables guide will go more in depth in how I built this project.
- 2x 1 meter long m10 threaded rods used to connect all the parts
- 8x M10 nuts to mount the parts to the threaded rods
- 2x 95 cm long 8mm smooth steel rods for the slider to slide on
- 4x lm8uu bearings for the slider to smoothly slide on the steel rods
- 4x 10mm long m3 nuts for mounting the motor
- 2 x skateboard bearings (22mm outer diameter, 8mm inner diameter) for the rotational axis
- 1x 15mm bearing for the idler side
- 1x 4cm long m4 bolt with m4 lock nut for mounting the idler bearing to the idler 3d printed part.
- 20 teeth gear with 4mm inner diameter for the slider motor. The exact pulley isn’t very important since your DC motor should be geared for enough torque. Just make sure it is the same pitch as your belt
- 2 meter long GT2 Belt. Again you can use any belt as long as it matches the pitch of your pulley’s teeth.
- 2 * Geared DC motors with encoders (one controls the lateral movement, while the other controls the rotational axis). Here is the one I used. More on this in the Electronics part of the guide
- RoboClaw DC motor controller. (I used the dual 15Amp controller since it allowed me to control both motors with one controller)
- Any Arduino. I used the Arduino UNO
- Battery/ Power source. ( I used a 7.4V 2 cell LiPo battery)
- Screen (For displaying the menu. Any U8G compatible screen will work, I used this 1.3 inch OLED screen)
- Rotatry encoder (For navigating and configuring options in the menu)
- Physical push button (For triggering the slider’s movement)”