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Automated Camera Movement

designed and developed by Jesse Bruen


To design and build an automated camera slider using a 3D printer and Arduino control board.


The various slider components will be designed using Google SketchUp and printed using a Cube 2.

All parts will be printed using PLA material.

Printed parts were changed to ABS, which resulted in stronger build quality.

Printed Parts:

Many of the slider parts go through several design stages resulting in many test prints.


1/2“ Rod Connector

Final design for Rod Connector as seen in above CAD sketch.

Due to printer issues involving cracking the brace had to be redesigned into two smaller prints.

Bearing Housing

Gear Housing

Sled Bearing Housing

Assembled Parts:

Basic Slider Track

Bearing Assembly

Gear Assembly with Belt

Slider with Tripod Mount

Slider Sled with DSLR



This semester my Independent Study goal was to build an automated camera slider using a 3D printer and an Arduino control board. Many of these goals came to fruition while others were met with some difficulty.

I successfully learned how to operate and utilize a Cube 3D printer. Mastering this particular printer was just as vital as every other aspect of the project. At times I was met with printer difficulties, involving poor print quality, head clogging, platform adhesion problems, and several other issues. I was required to diagnose these issues and fix them in order to maintain an consistent design to print ratio relevant to the amount of time in the semester. One of my biggest issues was with print platform adhesion, which resulted in the warping of prints during the print process. I discovered this was an issue due to larger print sizes, usually anything over three inches. I was forced to backtrack my progress on the slider and rethink it as a many smaller designs. This was I was able keep prints from curling and still accomplish a functioning slider.

The idea for the slider itself is of importance. While many sliders exist for sale on the internet, a cheap one will sell in the several hundred dollars range. Furthermore, a motorized, programmable slider, would range in the several thousand dollars range. One of the reasons for designing and building a 3D printed slider is cost. While I have yet to calculate my final print costs, the material required to build this slider, after it has been designed, is far less than a commercial slider. This project could later take form as an alternate, cheaper option, that an owner of a 3D printer could download off the internet and build.

Google Sketchup was a vital tool for making this project possible. Using a micrometer, I was able to take precise measurements of many parts (bearings, 1/2” bar, gears, ext) and design interconnected parts, using a computer. I was required to make many minor design changes, up to 1/256 of an inch, in order to make parts and prints fit properly. At times it would take up to ten test prints, to get some prints to fit. While these design changes were necessary early on in my study, by the end of the semester I was able to make proper fitting prints from the first design I made in Sketchup.

cs444bruen/arduino.txt · Last modified: 2014/05/08 10:27 by jmbruen