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From Cricut to Camera Slider!

A killed-by-the-manufacturer Cricut Expression parted out and upcycled into a 12” camera slider made using only what I had on hand! No 3d printed parts. No buying anything new. Just bits and bobs from my various parts bins and some scrap MDF. “Tobogan” speeled wrong on purpose to fit in the LCD.

So, in THE BEFORE TIMES, it was at my friends Christmas party and they’re like “Hey Victor, want a thing for parts”?
To which the answer is ALWAYS “yes”.

And so they hand me a Cricut Expression, explaining that the manufacturer had basically rendered it a brick by updating the software such that it could not be used any more.

Now, for years I had entertained the idea of reviving it into a GCODE based papercutter. And then I decided that I’m too lazy to learn YET ANOTHER GCODE SENDING SOFTWARE and, instead, decided to tear it apart and salvage what I could. After all, there was sure to be a TON of nifty treasures hidden inside its beige exterior. AND THERE WAS.

But most relevant to this project is it’s X-axis rail, motor, belt, and carriage, which could all be extracted from the machine with relatively little fuss.

Well, after literally tearing the entire device apart, of course.

One look at that assembly and I knew I’d finally have the chance to make something I’ve been wanting to build for a while: A camera slider.

Being the type of artist that likes to shoot lots of pictures quickly so that other people can view them equally quickly, I’ve been wanting a small camera slider to shoot video with for a while. It makes time lapses more entertaining, if nothing else. But I also didn’t want to spend any extra money on this, so I decided to ONLY USE WHAT I HAD ON HAND.

I repeat, I purchased nothing for this project.

I also decided that I didn’t want to 3d print anything for it either. I wanted to make it quickly and force myself to not NEED perfection. And nothing tickles that perfection itch like busting out a set a calipers and measuring every square millimeter of a part to recreate it in CAD.

And, of course, an Arduino: the universal electronics Duck Tape for makers everywhere.

As a result, building this took one day and coding it took the next.

And I dare say it came out nicely. I mean, it works, right?!”

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