Practical 3D Printing: Video Camera Dolly

This 3D printing video was interesting:

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I always wanted a professional camera dolly to handle tracking shots, but the dollies were way out of my budget. Now that I have a 3-D printer, I decided to design one myself.

The rails were easy. I had several steel tubes from a metal rack that I was no longer using. They’re just the right size, and have screw fittings on the end so that I could easily double the length if necessary.

I designed end caps for the rails that are press fit. They’re snug enough to stay secure during use but will slip off with a little pressure if I need to extend the track length. The track spacers were designed editing a copy of the end caps. They’ll help stabilize the track, especially when it’s extended.

Offsetting the rail dimensions, I created dual rollers for the dolly. To make it easier to print, I added small plugs to the bottom of each roller that could be popped out after printing. The rollers were printed in PLA, with hundred micron layers. Mini bearings slide into cavities in the ends of each roller.

The dolly carriage is fairly simple, basically a platform for the camera quick release and the rollers. It was also printed in PLA. I was really pleased with the dimensional accuracy of Kisslicer, the program that I use to generate G-code for the printer.

The rollers are attached to the platform using M8 bolts. A camera quick release attaches to the top of the platform making it easy to replace the camera, or adjust the angle.

So, how did it turn out? You be the judge.


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