Motorized Camera Slider out of old X-Carve Parts

So I’ve been thinking about building a camera slider for a while, but then it occurred to me that the x-carve is basically one giant over engineered motorized camera slider. Just zip-tied my phone to it and tested it out and I’m excited about the results. I’m thinking about building a simpler version out of the parts I have left over from the upgrade I did last weekend to the x-controller from the original kit and use the y-stepper motor to control the angle of the camera (and possibly even the z-stepped motor to control tilt in the future). Then you can literally just draw lines in Easel to control all those movements and the feed rate determines the slider duration. No programming skills required. Seems like a solid way to use the leftover parts from the upgrade. Feel free to comment your thoughts below!

This gif is literally straight out of the phone and the quality/smoothness is excellent in the full-quality mp4.


I must be missing something here. Any PTZ camera should be able to do this, plus a PT mount can do this also.

Yes - I didn’t mean that motorized camera sliders are a new concept. I meant that using leftover x-carve parts to do it and using easel to easily control it is something that I haven’t seen done. And it’s a MUCH cheaper solution than most commercially available solutions and anyone that recently upgraded from the original x-carve to the new controller already has 90% of the parts needed to make it sitting around doing nothing.

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Also - people that want to add some production value to their woodworking videos, could just use their x-carve as is (just like the video I shot above).

If you have the extra parts then that’s a cool use of them I guess.

Not really. The Pan function is a rotational movement where the camera (etc.) will rotate about a fixed point. The Tilt function is also a rotation about a fixed point.

A slider will move the camera (etc.) along a path with no rotation of the camera (etc.) in any plane.

It’s a common thing in time lapse vids. I’ve been eyeing up a spare 1000mm length of Makerslide and the old Nema 17’s, and I don’t even do time lapses :smiley:

Awesome idea, Daniel. Why is it, things that seem so obvious after they are pointed out are the things so often overlooked? Thanks for sharing the idea!!! My videos may soon have a new look! :grinning: :thumbsup:

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Yup - the only thing I’m suggesting is that using the x-carve’s built-in functions (which everyone on this forum presumably has access to), you can achieve extremely detailed (back and forth, circles, climbs, whatever) camera moves in 3D space without any new programming or new parts. The look achieved is not at all new - it’s used in timelapses and movies and all over the place. Unfortunately, most motorized/programmable camera sliders are more than $1000, so I’m just proposing a nice free solution to those of us with x-carves and especially those of us that upgrade to the x-controller and now have unused makerslide/arduinos, etc laying around.

Cool. I’ve actually been working on my own camera slider using some carbon fiber tubes and aluminium

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