Ultralight PET Timelapse Motion Control Dolly

A rigid, ultra-light and easy to use motion control solution for time-lapse photographers looking to lighten their load for backcountry shooting endeavors.

3D printer parts and enhancements

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Materials and methods

The best way to control this unit is through the eMotimo TB3. In my case, I gutted my TB3 and made an enclosure for the electronics. You might be better off using the TB3 in it's stock configuration to turn this into a 3-axis system. The TB3 is by far the best motion control solution for affordable time-lapse. The firmware and user interface is intuitive and incredibly powerful. It offers power saving features that are optimized for use with my custom worm drive. You can multiply the amount of usage from a single battery by about 10x with the worm drive and eMotimo power save mode. While doing so, you will still be able to do full vertical moves with the motor powering down between shots. This is impossible with any of the planetary geared motors available. The worm drive solves this problem and opens up some additional flexibility like the quick disconnect "sliding" worm mount. This allows you to disconnect the worm drive (without removing it) in a matter of seconds. Once disconnected, you can freely move the cart to reposition or shoot video moves. The base motor mount is also compatible with the planetary geared steppers.

Easy belt tensioning with a sliding belt block.

The mini-legs inspired by Dynamic Perception for low shooting angles. If ultra-light is not a requirement for your shooting needs, I highly recommend investing in the aluminum legs from Dynamic Perception. I own a set and absolutely love using them when I'm not in the backcountry.
Parts List:

2 spools of 3mm PET filament - $70
Recommended filaments - MadeSolid PET+ or Taulman3D T-glase

Thermoplastic Inserts and other hardware from McMaster Carr. I use an inexpensive wood burning soldering iron from Home Depot to insert these, no need to buy the special tips from McMaster Carr.

Thermoplastic Inserts (Heat-Set Inserts for Plastics) - You have to buy more than you need, but these inserts are extremely valuable for any 3D printer!

McMaster Carr Part #s:
1/4-20 x .5" - 93365A160 - Pack of 25 - $9.15
1/4-20 x .3" - 93365A162 - Pack of 25 - $12.06
8-32 Insert - Part # 93365A140 - - Pack of 100 - $14.03
m3 Insert - Part # 94180A331 - - Pack of 100 - $14.03
10-24 Insert - Part # 93365A150 - Pack of 50 - $9.15

Rubber End Caps for the CF mini feet - Pack of 50, although you only need 4!
McMaster Part# 6448K78 - Chemical Resistant Rubber Cap, Fits 5/16" OD, Packs of 50

Clamp Handles for end caps (to lock down the CF tube)
x4 handles required (2 per end cap) - $4.58/each ($18.32 total)
McMaster Part# 6305K11

Other various hardware required:
1.5" 10-24 spade head
A few handfuls of 1/4-20, m3, & 8-32 bolts. Detailed list coming soon//
x8 bearing insert space (nylon, fits inside skate bearing to bring ID down to 1/4". I got mine for 5 cents each at a local Ace Hardware.

Carbon Fiber (0.995" OD) - 72" length x 2 + additional mods (contact RW below)
Rockwest Composites can custom build the CF track for you. More info and pricing here:

Mini Feet CF legs - 8cm x 302mm ($12.50, Prime)

Levels (x3)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0054G62KW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 - 2 packs required, $7.46 total for 2 packs, Amazon Add-On Item

x8 Standard Skate Bearings (22mm) WITH built in stand-off spacers - $31.37, Prime

Worm Drive for Slider Axis:
Nema 17 motor - $18 (you can get these with wires or QD options, do your research to find one that works best for your needs)
Example 1: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10846
Example 2: http://www.lightobject.com/NEMA-17-42HS03-Stepper-motor-P727.aspx
Gears from SDP-SI for 20:1 worm drive:

24 pitch worm for Nema 17 stepper
Part Number: A 1M 5-N24 - $2.43
24 pitch 20:1 worm gear, Part #: A 1T 6-N242008 - $6.13
Available from: http://www.sdp-si.com/eStore/Catalog
Mini Bearings (used for end cap pulley and worm drive) 2 packs
Part #535020 (ServoCity) - $1.99/2pack ($3.99 total)

1/4" D-Shaft 1" - $0.99 - Part# 634058 (used for end cap pulley)

1/4" D-Shaft 2" - $1.49 - Part #634068 (used for worm drive shaft)

XL pinion pulleys
10 tooth, 6mm bore - Part#615384 $6.99
10 tooth, 1/4 bore - Part#615376 $6.99

3/8" wide, 1/5pitch (5.08mm) XL series timing belt - 25' pre-cut option is the cheapest - $29.99 - Cut to size for your rig - Part #615413

Canon N3 shutter release cable - $12.99, Prime
6 foot 2.5mm stereo cable (shutter cable extension) - $5.79, Prime

6.5' Extension cable (or make your own to match your stepper motor) - $21

Extra options:

LiFEPO4 battery - 12.8v, 3aH - $54.95

Total w/ out CF track = $318.90
Total w/ 72" CF track set custom built by Rockwest: $648.90


  • Span1
    1 4 20 Bolt Knob V2
    STL  β€“  52 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  0:14 h  β€“  1 g  β€“  20×20×7 mm
  • Span1
    Adj Knob Ten24 V1
    STL  β€“  48 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  0:15 h  β€“  1 g  β€“  24×24×12 mm
  • Span1
    Hinge V4 Left
    STL  β€“  99 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  1:29 h  β€“  8 g  β€“  44×25×32 mm
  • Span1
    Hinge V4 Right
    STL  β€“  99 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  1:30 h  β€“  8 g  β€“  44×25×32 mm
  • Span1
    Idle Pully End Caplegs V4
    STL  β€“  330 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  5:15 h  β€“  34 g  β€“  180×20×40 mm
  • Span1
    Leg Basev2
    STL  β€“  200 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  2:42 h  β€“  17 g  β€“  131×20×33 mm
  • Span1
    Mid Span
    STL  β€“  17 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  2:15 h  β€“  15 g  β€“  114×25×30 mm
  • Span1
    Motor Block V2
    STL  β€“  170 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  1:29 h  β€“  9 g  β€“  73×36×23 mm
  • Span1
    Motor End Cap V4
    STL  β€“  310 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  5:18 h  β€“  34 g  β€“  180×20×40 mm
  • Placeholder
    Pet Moco Rig Full V1 G Small Large Cart Master
    C4D  β€“  12 mb
  • Span1
    Sliding Worm Part A
    STL  β€“  150 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  1:44 h  β€“  10 g  β€“  81×35×20 mm
  • Span1
    Sliding Worm Part B
    STL  β€“  140 kb
    Updated on 01-04-2016  β€“  1:13 h  β€“  7 g  β€“  89×7×42 mm
  • Span1
    Small Cart V G V1
    STL  β€“  440 kb
    Updated on 01-04-2016  β€“  10:06 h  β€“  67 g  β€“  170×127×10 mm
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    Static Belt Rev3 Dualbolts
    STL  β€“  59 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  0:44 h  β€“  4 g  β€“  17×16×38 mm
  • Span1
    V F Slide Part A
    STL  β€“  61 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  1:43 h  β€“  11 g  β€“  24×38×41 mm
  • Span1
    V F Slide Part B
    STL  β€“  32 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  0:54 h  β€“  6 g  β€“  10×60×23 mm
  • Span1
    V F Slide Part C Belt Clamp
    STL  β€“  87 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  0:34 h  β€“  3 g  β€“  14×31×17 mm
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    V F Wheel Norm
    STL  β€“  47 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  1:45 h  β€“  11 g  β€“  33×34×48 mm
  • Span1
    V F Wheel Sym
    STL  β€“  47 kb
    Updated on 04-02-2015  β€“  1:45 h  β€“  11 g  β€“  33×34×48 mm


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8b0797fa3615de31485f189e08786165?default=blank&size=40Ilya Zavadskiy commented ago

Hey!!! Please, please, please!!!!!! 2 days I found information about your tracker in it project. Can you sare link me about 3D model tracker??? PLEASE!!!))) My English is bad, sorry) ilyazavadskiy98@gmail.com

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Mini photoStanislav Ballon printed this ago
Carousel thumb wp 20151020 16 08 01 pro
Printed on:
First try. This is cheaper version with aluminium pipes and direct motor drive. (International version)
Your design is best :) I've made modified version of your design and I will publish it later.
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