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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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Commercial use is allowed, you must attribute the creator, you may remix this work and the remixed work should be made available under this license.
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.
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)
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
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
Issues are used to track todos, bugs or requests. To get started, you could create an issue.
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) firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.