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Transforming a 3D printer into a four-axis camera slider

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Arduino TeamAugust 19th, 2022

When creating videos, making smooth, level movements at a constant speed is often a very important requirement, as sudden changes can leave viewers uncomfortable. But rather than purchasing an expensive gimbal-stabilized rig or a commercial motorized camera platform, Instructables user dslrdiy decided to devise their own four-axis system using a repurposed 3D printer with the goal of being able to easily control it through a phone.

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The old 3D printer already contained most of the parts for this build, such as several stepper motors, a controller board, and plenty of miscellaneous hardware. The main axis at the base allows for the primary assembly to move side-to-side with just a single stepper motor, while the other three axes sit on top. These include tilting up and down, rotating around the Z-axis, and rolling.

Controlling all of these motors is an Arduino Mega 2560 running an instance of RAMPS firmware, which interprets incoming GCODE commands into physical movements. And because it lacks a way to communicate via Bluetooth®, an external ESP32 acts as a remote in order to gather inputs from either its physical buttons or a connected phone. Combined, these devices can be used to set limits and rates for each axis that can, in turn, create amazing timelapse videos with ease.

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To see more about this project, you can read dslrdiy’s write-up here.

Website: LINK

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Written by Quad Oner

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