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.

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Giant Bearing Is At The Heart Of A Camera Mount

We bet you have all some cool part in your bin that is just gnawing at you to build something cool. That doodad, possibly from a garage sale, surplus store, or clearance rack deserves a project fitting of its near-infinite potential. [isaac879] finally marries a giant ball bearing with his passion for photography in the form of a pan-tilt camera mount for his Canon DSLR. The problem with tossing your golden-ticket part into a project is that not everyone has a MacGuffin, or a brand new one might be bank-breakingly expensive, so he does us a favor and makes a drop-in replacement that you can print and fill with 6mm brass bbs. This sort of thing is why we love hackers.

The camera mount has the features we expect to see in a robust stepper mount, such as infinite spinning, time delay, and an Xbox controller interface. Inside the base is the industrial bearing or its plastic replica, and that wide base won’t be tipping over anytime soon. Gearing all around is of the herringbone style, of the type you find in classroom pencil sharpeners because they transfer power smoothly. Speaking of things going smoothly, we enjoyed his assembly montage where every part fits together perfectly and there is not a naughty word to be uttered. Just like real life.

If you like homemade bearings, check out this slew bearing that looks like it was made with Perler beads, and we have a self-aligning camera tripod mount for the photography buffs.

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