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Diy slider design - my thoughts & your advice

#1 Islandboy
I've see two designs in sliders. One being a dual parallel rail made with round or square tubing usually, and the other as a single piece extrusion usual key accompanied by a linnear bearing type of slider. I'm trying BYO do a comparison of the two for what I'll build.

Dual rail system are:

Rails can be multiple sections for easier transportation, and modular lengths if properly designed.
I already have 2 4' pieces of 0.5" OD carbon fiber tube. They deflect roughly 1/2" when I hang 10 lbs at the midspan. I m thinking I'll be closer to 6 lbs though when I'm done building.
I also have lots of scrap Nomex honeycomb, carbon, glass, and Kevlar scraps to build the other components.
Down side to this I think is it could be harder to design (not impossible) a center mount to attatching it to a single tripod at the midspan.

Linnear bearings make mounting the camera gimbal to it cake.
Expensive. (Ok, carbon fiber isn't cheap either, but I've got if already).
May be wrong, but I am pretty sure you're stuck at a fixed length.
Center mounting the slider on a tripod would be very simple.

Now, as far as drive systems I like the idea of a moving belt over the fixed belt so that the stepper motor can be mounted of the end of the rig minimizing flex. The downside would be rubber belts in cold conditions aren't the greatest. I probably won't be shooting anything in Alaska or Greenland for a few years, do thus probably dies t natter. Lead screws or a cheap n' dirty allthread drive really sounds good to me, but again it's heavy, costs more (way more if using a real ballscrew shaft) and doesn't break down for a modular design. I'm not stuck on this having to be modular, but if I build it, why not make it a beast?

If you have anything to add that would be great. Tell me what you like of hate about your slider.
#2 rcmagraw
Hi there,

FYI this probably is not the best forum to be posting your question - and it will probably be moved Smile But on a side note, I have built 2 of my own time-lapse dolly system. I think your idea of implementing a carbon fiber rail system is a good idea. I'm assuming you're going off of the rhino slider? Some the challenges your will be faced with when building this are:

1. Finding bearing that have a convex shape to adhere to the rails.

2. Creating enough stability in the rail design. By even having a strong rails its not going to do you any good if you don't have a good frame to hold it together.

3. Motorization of the unit. You will need to find a way to pull the dolly. I use the mx2 controller. I strongly suggest you go with a mx3 or other time-lapse controller to operate the time lapse functionality and motorization. I'm pretty sure - you wont find many time lapse dolly that aren't using rubber belts to pull the dolly - but I could be wrong Smile

4. How will you be mounting the tripods to the dolly system? I recommend have three contact points. 1 on either side and 1 in the middle. With that said, depending on how heavy your dolly ends up being will determine whether or not you can mount the tripod in the middle. Generally anything over 10 pounds has issue when doing the panning movement from left to right. The platform tends to sway. That's an issue with even professional rigs "it's just a physics thing"

I would be happy to share my own design and insight into the project. Draw up a design and I would be happy to comment on it.

Good luck!
#3 Islandboy
Maybe I can strengthen the design with a title fancy engineering like they use on truss bridges. Or, for that matter airplane parts. For instance, a piece of 0.032 T3 alloy aluminum flexes plenty, but if you bend the edges up and flare the lightening holes you get a very light and strong part construction. For that matter
As for the rollers I've thought about using either plain skate bearings, but enough of them to keep it captured on the rail like a roller coaster train car, or perhaps have a coworker machine some out of some UHMW plastic rod and press the bearings into them. Although, I'm not sure is need the bearings if I make it out of a slick material such as UHMW. It's not like we are really supporting a high speed high mass load, right?
#4 rcmagraw
When you’re talking about the implementing the truss design are you thinking of a way to strength the support when using a single tripod?

You really want to spend some time figuring out how you will be controlling the movement of the dolly. I’m a little concerned by just using skate bearings the dolly will have a tendency to fall off the rails. If you could get your friend to mill the plastic piece to go around the bearing you would be better off. Another alternative is just spend a little money and buy these: ROLLER KIT You may pay a little more but this will insure that you have a set of bearing that will track nicely along the rails. Plus if you’re planning to buy skate bearings from a source like amazon you will most likely spend around the same amount of money.

Another alternative is to take a visit to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. They often have a lot of used roller blades and you can find a good set for about 5-10 bucks – then you could just pull the bearings right out of them and save some money.

Do you have any picture or sketches of where you’re at on the project?
#5 Bionik1

I am looking for a cheap (motorized) timelapse slider (less than 200€).
Maybe someone has an idea or is willing to sell his/her old one?

Alternatively, a detailed instruction for DIY would also be great!

#6 Islandboy
I have a 4' aluminum spirit level that looks like it would also make a good starting point to build around. I payed $15 for it. I think your budget sounds very reasonable if you have even just a little DIY in you. Another hidden value in using the level is that you don't have to buy or figure out how to mount levels onto the rig to ensure it's perfectly horizontal or vertical if that's what you need.
#7 Andy4nothin
Have you considered Openbuilds V-slot. This system is designed primarily for building 3d printers and small machines etc, but is ideal for motion rigs. I've built a couple of sliders with this stuff and I think you will struggle to find a system as convenient and inexpensive as this.

Take a look at my latest effort with an Edelkrone style movement: http://uktripper.com/visits/diy-time-lap...ng-action/

[Image: http://uktripper.com/images/d/slider-v2.jpg]

Take a look at what's available on the Openbuilds website: http://openbuildspartstore.com/
#8 Chas
Have just finished my DIY slider and put as much info as I could in the photos so anyone interested would have no problems building their own if interested,,you can do the math to see just how many seconds of travel time there is,,am thinking of putting a belt on it but that's for a later project,, http://justphotos.zenfolio.com/p787825086#h3c5da181
#9 dferrier@technologist.com
Along those lines of a dyi slider.

Does anyone know what kind of signal triggers a stepper motor of the kind that moves a slider on a rail? I have in mind to use the soloshot 2 along with a dyi rail and stepper motor to do both 3 axis movement and sliding movement.

The soloshot will trigger the camera in a shoot move shoot fashion.

Even if I don't use it on a slider, it is much cheaper than the emotimo and has more capabilities...


So I was thinking if I did a custom cable from the trigger side to the stepper motor it would step each time the shutter is triggered as well.

Or is that too simplistic?
#10 lukewood
Here's what I did . . .


...also check out: