If you’ve ever tried to document a project on your workbench with photos or videos, you know the challenge of constantly moving tripods to get the right shot. [Mechanistic] is familiar with this frustration, so he built a small desktop camera crane.
Heavily inspired by [Ivan Miranda]’s large camera crane, this build scales it down and mainly uses 3D printed parts. The arm of the crane can pivot along two axes around the base, uses a parallel bar mechanism to keep the camera orientation constant through its vertical range of motion. The camera mount itself allows an additional 3 degrees of freedom to capture any angle and can mount a DSLR or smartphone. To offset the weight of the camera, an adjustable counterweight is added to the rear of the arm. Every axis of rotation can be locked using thumbscrews.
We can certainly see a crane like this being useful on our workbench for more than just camera work. You could create attachments for holding lights, displays, multimeters, or some helping hands. For some tips on creating an engaging project video check out [Lewin Day]’s excellent video on the subject.
Continue reading “Mini Camera Crane For Your Workbench”
Most consumer-grade cameras these days come with adequate microphones built in. However, as with all hardware made down to a price point, there’s room for improvement. [M. Ploegmakers] decided to whip up a better microphone setup for his Sony A6300, with the Dumbbell Mic as the result.
The microphone is based around an electret condensor element, which provides good performance at a remarkably low price. This is then integrated with a preamp circuit to bring the audio up to the appropriate level for the camera to record along with the video. Switches on board set the gain level, as well as changing the mic to operate with or without phantom power, where available. The electronics is wrapped up in a 3D-printed enclosure, designed to mount on top of the camera for use out in the field.
It took some experimentation, but now [M. Ploegmakers] has a custom mic rig that records straight into the camera, avoiding the need to splice audio and video back together in post. If your camera lacks an audio input, you might have to do a little more work to hack one in, though!
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.
Continue reading “$8 3D Printed Photo Turntable Uses Upcycled Parts”