The author of this homemade product is fond of photo/video shooting. To teach the best shots, he decided to make a slider. The slider will improve stabilization when shooting, and will also allow you to shoot from any angle.
The whole device is made using off-the-shelf parts such as stepper motors and Arduino, and is designed to be easily transported.
Let's watch a short video showing an example of how the slider works.
Step one: design
The camera slider design was developed in the free 3D modeling software Autodesk Fusion 360. The wizard began the design by importing stepper motors and building a pan and tilt mechanism around them. Then he modeled the rail and made two parts that held the stepper motor and idler pulley at the ends of the rail. When designing, he took into account the stability of the structure and ease of assembly. Bearings are installed on the carriage, which act as wheels. The bearings are in contact with the profile tube (guide) at three points. This allows the carriage to roll smoothly without skewing.
Another goal in the development of the slider was to make it as compact as possible and to implement a modular design. This will allow the user to easily assemble and disassemble the slider and carry it with them. This is one of the main points that traditional sliders usually lack.
Finally, he designed a housing that will house all the electronic components and a display that will display useful information.
Step Two: 3D Printing
The parts required for this project are 3D printed. Parts were made with 60% infill, 4 perimeters, 0.4 mm nozzle and 0.1 mm layer height, filament – PLA.
All parts will be referred to by name from the list below.
Stepper slider holder
Idler Pulley Holder
Stepper Motor Holder
Electronic Base Module
Electronics module holder
Electronics module clamp
Floor mount A
Floor mount B
17 pieces in total. The total printing time is approximately 30 hours. The file with the thumbnails of the parts can be downloaded below.
Step three: assembling the portal (carriage) and preparing the guide
Now you can start to the carriage assembly.
First you need to cut off the guide. The craftsman uses a tube 60 cm long. Then two holes with a diameter of 4 mm must be drilled in it. The holes should be made in the middle of the rail at a distance of 6 cm from each other and 0.5 cm from the bottom plane of the pipe. These holes will allow you to mount the slider on a tripod.
Then you can start assembling the portal. The following parts will be required :
6 x bearings
1 x gantry
2 x belt holders
1 x stepper motor holder
The portal contains 2 bearings that roll on the upper surface of the guide, and 4 bearings (2 on each side surface of the rail) to prevent skew. The 2 bearings for the top surface are connected together with the belt holders with one 4mm nut and bolt on each side.
The other 4 bearings are installed at the corners of the carriage. Then you need to check how smoothly the carriage slides along the guide.
Step four: the stepper motor holder and the pulley holder
Next, we proceed to assembling the stepper motor assemblies that move the portal along the guide. The two assemblies consist of a drive assembly that holds the stepper motor and an idle assembly that holds the idle pulley. This step requires the following parts:
1 x stepper motor
1 x stepper pulley
1 x idler pulley
1 x stepper slider holder
1 x idler pulley holder
2 x bearing
The assembly of the drive begins by attaching the stepper motor to the holder. Then it installs the pulley on the stepper motor shaft.
The stepper motor is installed on one side of the rail, and the roller is mounted on the other end. To assemble the roller, you need to install a bearing on both sides and install it in the holder.
Step five: pan and tilt mechanism
Once the slider mechanism is built, you can start assembling the swivel and tilt mechanism.
This requires the following parts:
2 x stepper motors
1 x bearings
1 x bracket
1 x tilt bracket
It starts by placing the bearing in the hole on the swing arm and mounting the tilt arm part on the swing arm.
Next, installs the tilt stepper motor on the panning bracket and installs the shaft in the hole on the tilt bracket. The planting is tight and does not require additional reinforcement.
Sets the panning motor to the portal. Complete the pan and tilt assembly by sliding the pan bracket onto the stepper motor attached to the portal.
Finally, installs the belt.
Step six: installing an action camera
The camera attachment point is a universal connector. This will allow the user to install various types of action cameras such as GoPros or Osmo Action. If your camera is a little different, there are adapters available from electronics stores or online. To attach the camera or adapter to the tilt bracket, thread a 4mm nut and bolt through the connector, place the camera connector between them and tighten the bolt.
Step seven: electronic module
The electronics module consists of three main parts: LCD -display, Arduino + CNC Shield and power port.
Installs Arduino with a stepper motor driver into the case. Be sure to align the Arduino so that the programming port protrudes slightly from the slot in the box.
Next, attaches the LCD to the top panel of the electronics compartment. The display is installed tightly into the window and does not require additional fasteners.
Finally, installs the DC female connector into the hole in the chassis.
DC connector + ve to CNC Shield Vin
DC connector -ve to GND of CNC screen
LCD VCC to CNC driver + 5V < br> LCD GND to CNC Screen GND
LCD SDA to CNC Shield SDA
LCD SCL to CNC Shield SCL
Stepper motor to X-axis driver port
Stepper motor turning to Y-axis driver port
Inclined stepper motor to driver Z-axis port
Step eight: installing the slider
This slider can be installed in two ways: on a tripod or on the ground.
To mount the slider on a tripod, you need a tripod mount. Fix it to the holes drilled in the guide.
To place the slider on a level surface, use the floor mount A and the floor mount B. The floor mount A supports the rail at the stepper motor side, and the floor mount B supports the rail at the end of the idle pulley. Unscrew the stepper motor, align the floor mount A with the holes on the slider pulley holder and secure the stepper motor back. Unscrew the idler pulley and align the hole on the floor mount B with the hole in the idler pulley and secure the idler pulley back.
The design of this slider is modular, it consists of several nodes that fit together. This makes it easy to transport the slider without having to completely reassemble and disassemble it every time. Here is a list of nodes that can be considered modules and do not require complete disassembly during transportation.
Step nine: programming
The program has two modes of operation: tracking mode and speed control.
Tracking mode allows you to track an object that is at a fixed point using a slider. The gantry moves along the guideline and the pan axis moves so that the camera always points in the direction of the object. Parameters to be set:
Speed - units: m/s, variable name: speedTrack
Perpendicular distance from the track – units: m, variable name: d1
Perpendicular distance of the object to the perpendicular of the track aligned with stepper shaft – units: m, variable name: d2
Speed control mode
Speed control mode allows you to control the individual speeds of different axes. Parameters to be defined:
Slider step speed – units: m/s, variable name: sliderSpeed
Pan step speed – units: degrees/s, variable name: panSpeed
Tilt step speed – units: degrees/s, variable name: tiltSpeed
These variables can be found on lines 12-20 of the program.
To choose between the two modes, at the beginning of the code, make sure that the value corresponding to the mode is set to 1 and the other to 0. For example, if we want to use tracking mode, the lines at the beginning of the program should read like this:
#define trackingMode 1 #define velocityControlMode 0
Download code below.
Step ten: tests
After two weeks of testing, the master is pleased with the result, the quality of the images has improved significantly. The program allows you to control the speed along the axes, while also allowing you to take pictures at intervals.
The Master recommends this device for photography amateurs and professionals.
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