Personal View site logo
Make sure to join PV on Telegram or Facebook! Perfect to keep up with community on your smartphone.
My motion control WIP
  • Hello guys,

    I've been working on a motion control prototype unit with a friend. Its coming along nicely, so i thought I would share some pictures with you guys.

    It will be a 2 axis head on a linear slider with zoom and focus controls.

    I have no plans to include 3D camera path export, due to the build level of the rig, but it should work for repeating the same move perfectly many times and for time lapses.

    IMG_5502 - Copy.JPG
    3072 x 2304 - 882K
    3168 x 4752 - 5M
    750 x 920 - 240K
  • 24 Replies sorted by
  • Interesting, would you like to share some informations? Where did you get those nylon clamps? Are you using a stepper motor? How do you think to motorize the slider? Good job anyway!

  • Hey. Its actually ABS plastic. Designed in solidworks and printed on a 3D printer. I wanted to make it all aluminium, but I dont know anyone who owns a CNC milling machine and paying the commercial cost would be too much at this point.

    I am using NEMA stepper motors. I wanted to go with DC motors, but that could get really complicated.

    The slider will be motorized using a stepper motor and a toothed drive belt. Similar to this:

  • It is very interesting.

    What do you think about making it universal system so all it'll need will be three 1/4" threads (one on base and two on slider ends)?

    I dont know anyone who owns a CNC milling machine and paying the commercial cost would be too much at this point.

    But I know quite many of such firms :-)

  • @VK Im not sure i understand what you mean with three 1/4" threads.

    The carriage that moves along the slider has a 3/8" threaded hole in the middle. The bottom axle has a 3/8" thread stud coming out. I have made some adapters for the bottom side of the slider that puts a 1/4" nut on the bottom, so you can put it on two tripods.

    The head itself will be usable on its own, by attaching it to a tripod or a crane or whatever :)

  • The independent head is a very good idea. Thus the electronics and software should be able to work in different configurations. What kind of hardware are you planning to use? About motors, how did you size power and speed? To move the slider I am thinking to use a rack with a pinion mounted on the carriage. In this way I think I would get a higher precision and a more compact design.

  • As far as the electronics are concerned I am not sure yet. For rotation I will be using NEMA17, for the slider NEMA23, and for the focus and zoom i will be using NEMA8 (might swap it with NEMA11 or 14 if it turns out too weak). More than speed i was worrying about if the motors would be able to move slowly enough. Microstepping and gear ratios help with that, so there should be no problem.

    If i understand you correctly you would put the motor for carriage movement on the carriage? Its generally a good idea to avoid adding weight to the moving parts if you can. Besides I doubt it would be easy getting a 1.8m rack in one piece. I think the toothed drive belt will work fine.

    750 x 500 - 439K
  • A little update. Its mostly done. All that remains are the gears and electronics.

    1500 x 1000 - 256K
  • Looking very nice! Did the NEMA8 turn out strong enough? Did you use gears? If yes, what ratios? What about noise? Can you still record audio while moving?

    Very interesting project indeed!

  • Hey. I didnt get on the electronics yet. With the current gears the ratio is about 1:4. I think it will be to weak for certain lenses (especially for zoom). I think i could go to about 1:10 ratio with this type of gear setup. Then there is the worm gear and stronger NEMA (11&14) motors if even that turns out too weak.

    As far as noise goes i think it will be a pretty big problem for recording from the camera. I doubt i would need the sound from the camera for the shots i have in mind. I dont think it would be a problem if I used a boom mic or something.

  • The project is nearly finished. Its in the software development stage. In the meantime I was playing around with just the motorized slider.

    Quick test:

  • Great, please keep posting it's very interesting .. would love to see repeated moves. A track across the garden, then a track across a person against a green screen, then a composite would be interesting

  • A little update for you guys.

    The rig is operational (keyframe animation etc) and Im in the testing phase (so far a lot of problems due to not so great printed gears and some problems with bearings).

    Will keep you posted.

    2048 x 1536 - 855K
    2048 x 1536 - 795K
  • @mk47, May I ask where you found the worm gear.

  • @kavadni you must be mistaken. There is no worm gear on this rig. All the gears (as well other white plastic mounts) are made using a 3D printer using ABS plastic.

  • I see now it's a belt :) or Rack?

  • Great looking project so far! I'd like to ask if you are having any problems with the slider? I bought one of these and found it very unsmooth to push by hand but thought a motorized option would provide better consistent movement with snags. What are your findings?

  • Here is a quick test:

    I will try to use it on an actual shot next.

    @kavadni Its a toothed belt. If i used the rack and pinion setup i would have to mount the motor on the carriage, which isnt good in this case (it would add around 1kg to the carriage weight, which would decrease max speed and the angle at which i can drive with this motor). Getting a 1.8m rack would be a challenge as well :P

    @vicharris Do you have W20 or W16 size? I got W20 and its hard to get a good result when pushing it by hand. A test i've done when i got the slider:

    For higher speeds you can get an ok result, but slow movements are problematic (unless you are a cyborg). I'd say its nearly useless if you would use it only with your hand (especially if you compare it to a pro slider like the cineslider from Kessler). But for motorizing i think its the best option out there (price wise, and how easy it is to motorize it).

  • @mk47 I thought it was the 20 but it might have been the 16. It was actually from another company that rebranded it. With the legs provided, the whole track would warp and twist with my Tokina 11-16 on it. Seems like you've taken care of things here though. Really liking it.

  • @vicharris I doubt it was W20 since is really heavy (around 5kg just for the 1.8m slider and the carriage), and the pillow blocks are rated for like 80kg of weight a piece. Probably more than enough for the giant panavision cameras if you mount it properly. W16 is solid as well. It might be that you had W10 (like this one ).

  • Hello everyone.

    Another quick test:

  • Awesome, well done

  • now thats impressive

  • I tried using a Red Scarlet on the rig. Once you get it balanced, the motors have no problem moving it in all directions. The build level is still too weak to use it regularly. We are already working on a full metal construction of the head. The slider is massive enough to put anything on, the rotation head however is not.

    4752 x 3168 - 4M
  • After gathering dust for a while i set it up again, this time for a time lapse:

    The playback is 100x faster than realtime.