$8 3D Printed Photo Turntable Uses Upcycled Parts

Whether you’re selling a product or just showing off your latest project, a photo turntable makes video shots a lot easier.  360° turntables allow the viewer to see every side of the object being photographed, while the camera stays locked down. Motorized turntables are available as commercial products costing anywhere from $30 to $150 or so. Rather than shell out cash, [NotionSunday] decided to create his own turntable using a few parts he had on hand and 3D printing everything else.

The motor for the turntable came from the eject mechanism of an old DVD-ROM drive. An Arduino Pro Mini controls the motor’s speed using an MX1508 H-bridge chip. Power comes from an 18650 Li-Ion battery. The whole assembly spins on the head assembly from a VCR.

Before you jump in on the comments, yes, VCR heads have motors. However, they’re typically brushless motors rated for 1,800 RPM. Running a motor like that at low-speed would mean rewinding the coils. In this case, using a DC motor and gear drive was the easier option.

[NotionSunday] 3D printed the turntable base and mount. The mount uses a magnet arrangement that makes it easy to switch between freewheeling or belt driven operation. The turntable itself is posterboard, with 3D printed edges.

Click through the break to see the whole video.

Turntables aren’t the only low budget video accessories we’ve covered. Check out this camera slider, and this Blender controlled camera rig.

14 thoughts on “$8 3D Printed Photo Turntable Uses Upcycled Parts

  1. Bunk – Every time I see a “Hack” that costs (e.g.) $8 in “Up-Salvaged” stuff along with the words “3D printed”, I file this in the FAKE NEWS bin. The TCO of a personal 3D printer today plus the time it takes to fight with it in order to get good results (time=money) makes the true cost of one of these “Hacks” far-far more than the $8 claimed Shame on you HaD for not pointing this out in your post.

    1. If you want to make stuff, you need tools to make stuff with. Some tools are expensive, some tools are cheap, do you factor in the cost of your hammer when you build something too? He did not have to use a 3d printer for any of that, but he had a 3d printer, so he used the 3d printer. Use the tools which you have available to you.

  2. Tempting. I like the design. I have one from a Kickstarter with one major flaw. It is direct drive from a stepper, and the steps are so abrupt that the object to be photographed will not stay put. They have to be hot-glued or taped in place very well, considering they get jerked 200 times in a circle. I think I can retrofit.

    1. Many stepper motors/drivers have the ability to adjust the microstep-pulse settings. Depending on the components, you may be able to tweak it (upwards?) For a smoother ride. The stepper drivers​I have use jumpers for this, some have toggles, and some change based on which leads are connected.

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