Articulated camera arm fastens down to a 2x4, and allows you to position your camera in "infinite" positions. Nominally cut with a laser cutter and 3D-printed. Could also be made manually, or with just a laser cutter or 3D printer by itself... Though using a printer would take a looonng time.Step 1: Video:
Check out the video for how I made this using a nominally 60W laser cutter.
This design is based on the Pocket83 robot arm light concept found here and here, so if you'd like to build this type of link system sans fancy laser tools, then that's a great place to start.Step 2: Supplies and Tools
- 1/4" MDF
- 1/4 - 20 carriage bolts:-2" long for main links, 2 1/2" long for links that straddle 2x4, ~1" long for ball head
- 1/4 - 20 nuts, optionally 1/2" nuts
- Optional: Filament (if using 3D printer)
- Optional: Ball head (discussed later)
- Laser cutter (my intro to 60W unit)
- Optionally 1/4-20 tap
Cut out parts per designs found on GitHub (DXF and LightBurn formats available).
STL file for ball head also available there if you'd like to print.Step 4: Optional: Nut Knob
Using a vise, press the 1/4-20 nut into the 1/2 inch nut to create a sort of "knob." Clean the threads with 1/4-20 tap.
You could also use a wing nut, or possibly even just use a standard 1/4-20 nut, but this would make it more difficult to secure.Step 5: Assemble
Assemble the links using carriage bolts and nut knobs. Shown here is a section that turns the rotational axes at 90º, allowing you to move your camera in a vertical as well as horizontal direction.Step 6: Affix to 2x4 and Add Camera
Attach camera to 2x4, using the longer links to straddle it, locking the assembly down with nut knobs.
- Shelf setup is part of a 2x4 basics bench build [Amazon]. They supply the plastic framing, you supply lumber. Works really well IMO.
It's possible to simply screw a camera into the 1/4-20 threads on the end of the 3D-printed piece, but a better solution is to use a ball head. Different options:
- Small Rig ball head [~ $5 eBay]
- Joby ball head w/ quick-release [~$40 Amazon]
- 3D-printable Joby adapter (can be used with small rig device, but I didn't find it to work quite as well as actual Joby product)
Note that Amazon links are affiliate, meaning I get a small percentage of any purchases.
Thanks for reading!