Camera Slider Track Part 1

I have long wanted to work on some motion-controlled camera rigs, for time lapse and moving video shot purposes.  The longest-brewing idea I have had is for a motion-controlled cable camera rig for setting up some elaborate mountain bike shots, but there are a lot of engineering hurdles for that project and I just haven’t been able to put together the time to make significant progress on it.

I was asked to help out on a mountain bike video project by some friends, and I decided this would be a good time to get a simpler project started – a simple camera slider rig.  A camera slider is a track with a motorized carriage which can be set up to move at a fixed rate.  By mounting a camera on the carriage, a smooth-moving video shot can be obtained, or interesting time lapse shots with motion can be created.

Rather than re-invent the wheel, I decided to get a jump start on the project by using some off-the-shelf components.  In particular, I discovered the OpenBuilds site, where they sell an open-source friendly linear slide rail system meant to bolt onto commercially-available aluminum extrusion products like those from 8020, Inc.

This week I received the parts from both companies and assembled the basic slide rail and carriage assembly, which you can see in the video below.  I am just starting to design the mechanical components for the motor control portion, which is the next critical task.

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