Sep 8, 2015 | By Kira

In the world of cinematography, a camera dolly, or slider, is an indispensable tool. Designed to create smooth camera movements along a horizontal axis, dolly shots lend fluidity and polish to even the most standard scenes, whether you are a Hollywood big-shot or just trying to put together some good family memories. While the majority of sliders are motorized, and some are expensive and heavy to carry around, Dan from the new series DIY Dudes has released a free guide to making your very own camera slider from aluminum and 3D printed parts, all for under $20.

While Dan has experimented with making a variety of camera sliders in the past, some motorized, some made from wood, he recently purchased a 3D printer that would allow him to make a slider out of aluminum rails and printed bushings. He opted for a versatile model with adjustable legs and adjustable friction. “The tension of the bushings can be adjusted with an Allen key, which allows you to compensate for wear over time and adjust the friction of the slider,” he said in the description. “The rails are supported by printed end pieces with legs that can be adjusted using convenient knobs, and feature a locking mechanism.”

In terms of parts, all that’s needed to get started are two pieces of ¾” aluminum tube, and various screws, nuts, and bolts, which can be purchased altogether for about $15. Next up, the STL files for the 3D printed parts, which include the feet, locking knobs, bushings, carriage, legs and end pieces can be downloaded for free on DIY Dudes, and printed for around $5 total. “Once you have all of the parts, assembly is a breeze,” wrote Dan. “No drilling or cutting, just bold it all together.” Couldn’t be easier, right?

The fully-assembled tool is extremely lightweight, and best suited for smaller DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and small camcorders, however with some adjustments, a heavier version could be made for larger cameras, and Dan even intends to make a motorized version in the near future. Even as-is, however, the camera slider provides fluid and extremely professional results, as you can see in the video below.

The 3D printed camera slider is just one of many projects featured on DIY Dudes, a new online series that will give readers ideas and instructions for everyday uses for their 3D printers, such as bathtub plugs or a bow stringer. “Many of these projects will seem small and insignificant, but that’s the point!” said Dan. “There are lots of little things that having a 3D printer can help you do; you’ll never run out of small projects to complete with your 3D printer.” We couldn’t agree more, and hope to see more of this everyday-enthusiasm and encouragement in the maker community.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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