Wirecam and gimbal......my latest project:)

Hi all,

Just thought I would share my latest project with you…

The project is in it’s early stages, but I’m intending to share the files on Easel when it’s finished.
I only completed the Solidworks model yesterday :slight_smile:
The rig will hold cameras up to the size of a fully loaded ‘Red Epic’…it’s a heavy duty bit of kit!!

All the very best



Looks great Dave. How you going to control it? RC?

I’ve been thinking of building a single camera slider for time lapse work is this is of interest.



Hi Ian,

Thank you so much for your comment.

Yes indeed!! The motors will all be RC. The plus side is, apart from the main drive motor, all components are off the shelf RC parts, so creating your very own at home should be pretty straightforward.

I’ve also designed an RC slider, which can double as a time lapse slider…if you need any help, or advice with your build, please let me know.

All the very best


Wow, that’s really nice.

As a photographer, I’ve also been thinking about trying to make a camera slider for timelapse photography but it’s something I’ve considered a little beyond my abilities. The mechanics of it are probably within my abilities but the electronics are entirely alien to me.

I’d be interested in any further work either of you do within this area.

What I’d like to create is a simple series of aluminium rails that can be bolted together into whatever length is desired, with a self contained, programmable trolley to carry the camera. Providing the camera trolley is ‘captive’ to the rails, it can be mounted horizontally or vertically.

Rather than trying to use belts, pulleys or wires, I was thinking of something more aligned to a ‘rack & pinion’ setup system. This way the drive system can be made longer or shorter, simply by adding more or less lengths of “toothed” railing.

As I said, the mechanics of it are not insurmountable, but making a drive system that I can program for anything from timelapse to a video pan, is quite beyond me…

Keen to see what others are working on.

Good morning David,

Rack & pinion is a good option…connecting the different sections should also be pretty simple…three locating pins, and a dual point means of locking the assembly would be easy to engineer.
As far as the electronics are concerned…an off the shelf ‘Arduino’ based ‘time lapse’ kit should do the trick…there are a few available, and might be your best option.
For a ‘time lapse’ rig, don’t completely discount using a toothed belt drive system…they work really well !!.
I made one for a client several years ago, and it’s still in daily use!!
Message me if you need any assistance with the design, or electronics…I’d me more than happy to help:)

All the very best


@DaveSullivan having built the XCarve, I’m quite happy with the toothed belt options, I was just thinking of making something that’s easily expandable.

I’ve actually bought the arduino, the screen, the input device (joystick thingo) and several other bits. I’ve also (many many moons ago) done a little programming so even that doesn’t entire put me off. The electronics however are not something I find intuitive (all my trade and engineering experience is mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic) and apart from knowing I need to make sure “not to let the smoke out”, micro controllers have always been an empty box with lots of inputs on my schematics.

More than anything, I suspect of late, like a dog whose owner has just thrown a tennis ball, I’ve been distracted by several XCarve related ‘tennis balls’.

Whilst something nice and light for my FF Sony would be great, it’d be even better if it was robust enough to carry my D800 & lens. For this reason, I was considering some type of alumium extrusion, very likely makerslide (And of course because I’ve also got spare v wheels bearing etc).

If you’ve any links to relatively simple project guides for a camera controller like this, I’d be more than grateful - I know I can find much of this online, but having someone to assist may be just the incentive I need…

Many thanks,

Hi David,

As soon as I get home, I’ll get some links over to you, more than happy to assist…As far as expandability goes…you could always restrict your design to two sizes…large & small, that way you could have two different lengths of toothed belts which would be specific to the slider config…the toothed belts fit nicely into a fishing line tub, making them easy to transport:)
Makerslide, and V-wheels would be a fab solution…driving them also would be a doddle!!

I know this wouldn’t take care of the movement side of the op, but it’s a cool device :slight_smile:

All the very best


PS: It’s amazing how a new piece of kit can take your eye off the ball:)

Thanks, anything you can recommend would be appreciated.

Distractions are the bane of my life - I think I have the attention span of a goldfish. The camera track was supposed to be high on my “to build” list, but then I saw a wooden clock and just had to build one (my first attempt here https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8FrmQOXdPkY .

So many distractions, so little free time…

Hi David,

Just watched, liked, and commented on your video:) Fantastic build!! I can see why you became distracted!!! It’s so easy to wander off, and make something for the pure joy of doing it…I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve done it :slight_smile: !!

I’m currently designing a “no more than $30” (if you had to buy the materials, or free if you up cycle available materials). prosthetic hand solution…the intention is to supply plans, and instructions in 10 different languages free of charge.
I’m 100% focused on getting this project completed ASAP…as you can imagine It’s very difficult for me to wander off at the moment…it’s such an important, and life changing project to be working on.

…Mental note…got to build one of those clocks!!!

Very best wishes


Hi David,

Here’s a few links to get you started:)


I’ll send more over as I find them.

All the best


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@DaveSullivan, many thanks.

If you need a hand with your project, let me know. Not sure what I could possibly contribute, however I’d be happy to assist if possible. Sounds like a fantastic and noble project.

Pardon the inadvertent pun…

Hi David,

Thank you so much!! Inadvertent pun excused:)

All the very best


PS: I’ll be uploading the initial 3d mock-up at some point this evening.

Regarding the electronics for your TL slider you might want to check these guys out, they have some great controllers for TL: http://learn.dynamicperception.com/#home

Regarding your clock, that’s awesome but your video begs the question why you chose Us & Them over Time? Doesn’t matter to me as long as you chose Pink Floyd…

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Thanks for the links, I’ve pretty much found everything I need, I’m just considering alternate drive methods that would allow me to quickly connect several lengths of track and still have the carriage move along them without having to connect additional belts etc.

And yes, one of the most frequent comments regarding that clip is why didn’t I use Time? Short answer - that was my original intention, but as I needed just a short snippet, I couldn’t (quickly) find a section of the song that would do it justice. I was just being lazy.

(hmmm - Lazy by Deep Purple, now there’s a thought…)

@ChuckSpaulding thanks for that link. Their gear is exactly what I want, I just don’t want to pay $1000 plus. I’d not actually heard of them before and their stuff looks very nice.

One of the problems with photography, is that good gear is astonishingly expensive. I’ve spent for to much on gear and bits over the years, but it’s a kind of vicious circle. You buy great gear and have the ability to make great work, but when you want to expand into other fields, because you’ve got such nice gear, you don’t really want to use things that are poor quality.

I’ve found however, that with a little thought and some aluminium extrusion, it’s not all that hard to make useful gear. Below is a first prototype of a Panorama Head I made. Knobs are from an old lawnmower and the whole thing probably cost $75. The Pano Head I wanted was $1300…

Man, I wish I had access to the machinery I had when I did an apprenticeship all those years ago.

I have their Stage Zero and it works great, I’ve been really happy with it. Having said that I hadn’t started doing my own DIY projects and frankly even I had I probably couldn’t have produced something that worked as well regardless of budget. As a DIY’r you have to cross this threshold where you realize its not just about making it cheaper but making it better and something like the X-Carve kind of gets you there.

I think now I could make something as well but the cool thing is how the electronics have changed including the integration of Bluetooth. They have a couple of great controllers for $200-$400.

@ChuckSpaulding if I had access to the machinery, there’s very little I couldn’t make. It’s the electronics and control software that’s my stumbling block. Connecting two wires is about the extent of my electronic ability.

Ideally, I’ll make myself something, but I’ll use their software to drive it.

Not sure as yet…