Still very much in progress, but here’s the first iteration of my motorized camera slider. The slider ends are this part, and the carriage is this part. I had to tweak the heck out of the OpenSCAD file for the carriage to get it to fit right. I also learned about silicone spray to get things sliding more smoothly, and the fact that it’s better to leave bearings a little loose if you don’t have precision alignment.
The “motorized” part is pretty simple…actually too simple, and I need to complex it up a bit. It’s a continuous rotation servo with a spool attached and some string wound onto it. It just slowly pulls the camera across the rods. I need to add some controls to allow for setting the speed, and some gearing might also help things move a little better. I’d also like to investigate using a threaded rod as a screw drive, which could also function as a third support.
Ultimately, I want to have a rig that will move the camera slightly, then trigger the camera to snap a photo, then repeat. I’ve got the code for all this, so right now it’s mainly a matter of the mechanical build (needs improvement) and wiring things up without it being too messy. (The guys at the Federal building told me they get concerned when they see wires and batteries.) A nice case might be in order. I might also look for a smaller ball head, as this one is quite large and heavy, which doesn’t help outside on a windy day. There’s a long list of improvements to this, so expect more posts in the future.
See a video of one of the early tests of this thing.