Building A Motorized Pan Tilt Rig For Filming

Today, anyone can shoot video because cameras are cheap and readily available. But if you want to do fancy Hollywood-style moving shots, you’ll need somebody to point the thing — or a machine to do it for you. [Giovanni Aggiustatutto] went the latter route with this mechanized pan-tilt build.

The build relies on stepper motors for clean and accurate movement on both axes. Belt drives are used to step down the output of the motors for greater torque. The pan-tilt mechanism itself is built from a combination of 3D printed parts paired with wooden components and a pair of aluminium tubes for rigidity. The whole assembly comes with a standard mount for use with a regular tripod. An Arduino Uno runs the show, using TMC2208 stepper drivers to command the motors. A control pad featuring a joystick and buttons is used for control, with an LCD to provide useful feedback to the user.

Pan-tilt systems are more typically used for security purposes, but we like the application to creative work here.

3 thoughts on “Building A Motorized Pan Tilt Rig For Filming

  1. Great tip for locking parts together on a threaded rod: assemble with double sided tape between them. Much better than relying on friction. An impressive result with simple hand tools and a 3D printer.

  2. A while back, when car manufacturers started using motors to adjust side mirrors instead of the three cables connected to mechanical XY lever, you could harvest the controls and motors for a simple, light weight, pan tilt setup. I want to say it was GM, but I’m not sure.

    It was pretty limited in motion with just the guts from the mirror housing, but the parts to increase that motion range could be printed.

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