There are a good handful of pan and tilt camera actuators for sale out there. They seem cool but why purchase one when you can spend five consecutive weekends in pure solitude fumbling over machining tolerances and demoting your "nice" jeans with incidental cutting oil while making one just like them on your own?
For real though, I love this project. Pan, tilt, and translation. It's the perfect triumverate. The ultimate ménage à trois. The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit. Snap, Crackle, Pop. Ding, dong, ditch. Beyoncé, Kelly, Michelle.
Emma brings a handful of upgrades over its predecessor, Tom. Gone are the screw drives, and in their place, faster and more flexible pairs of gears on each stepper motor. The brass worm drive mechanism particularly turns me on. It offers the granularity of a screw drive but in a much smaller housing.
And although Emma implements the same rail and bearings as Tom, its translation system was completely rethought (cue Johny Ive voiceover). Whereas Tom used a static screw drive for travel down the length of the rail, Emma houses a gear rack system tucked under its carriage. Its motor can slide in and out to receive three different pinions for an adjustable travel speed: slow time lapse, fast time lapse, and jog for real-time panning.
Look at these two lovebirds. Do you see what I've done here? Take a look at how most other pan and tilt hobbyists "designed" their motor housing. I found these other designs bulky and obstructive. Emma is a good example of why I like mechancial engineering. It's like solving a puzzle. How could I make something more compact and clean, and more functional? When I looked at these other pan and tilt systems, I saw a fun opportunity to try to make something better.
So makes this bracket cool? Oh, I don't know, the precision of the worm gears' center distance. The elegant placement of the tilt motor, delicately ensconced beneath the camera stage. The slotted screw head clearances to maximimze the camera's angle of tilt. How long are you here for? I could go on.
Xy is an open-source project. I know, I'm such a nice guy. Below is a complete bill of materials. All custom components can be milled from 1/2" thick material, or check out the STL folder to 3D print them. CAD models and drawings are to the right. The Github repo is the best place to start.
|M-080-160-SKT-H-SS||HRD||M8 16mm screw||12||1||$7.07||$7.07||91292A145||McMaster Carr|
|S-000-038-SKT-H-SS||HRD||#0 3/8" screw||10||1||$6.82||$6.82||92196A057||McMaster Carr|
|S-006-038-SKT-H-SS||HRD||#6 3/8" screw||8||1||$2.40||$2.40||92185A147||McMaster Carr|
|M-030-350-SKT-H-SS||HRD||M3 35mm screw||2||1||$3.30||$3.30||91292A033||McMaster Carr|
|M-030-250-SKT-H-SS||HRD||M3 25mm screw||2||1||$6.40||$6.40||91292A020||McMaster Carr|
|S-006-058-SKT-H-SS||HRD||#6 5/8" screw||4||1||$2.98||$2.98||92185A149||McMaster Carr|
|S-006-025-NUT-SS||HRD||#6 1/4" nut||8||1||$3.83||$3.83||90730A007||McMaster Carr|
|S-006-078-SKT-H-SS||HRD||#6 7/8" screw||4||1||$6.36||$6.36||92196A152||McMaster Carr|
|M-030-140-SKT-H-SS||HRD||M3 14mm screw||4||1||$5.52||$5.52||92290A118||McMaster Carr|
|S-004-025-STF-H-SS||HRD||#4 1/4" standoff||4||4||$1.82||$7.28||91075A101||McMaster Carr|
|S-004-038-SKT-H-SS||HRD||#4 3/8" screw||10||1||$3.98||$3.98||92196A108||McMaster Carr|
|igus_rail||MOT||Igus DryLin W1040-A rail||1||1||$88.93||$88.93||W1040-A||Amazon|
|gear_rack||MOT||32 pitch, 20˚ gear rack||3||3||$33.73||$101.19||7854K13||McMaster Carr|
|nema17_motor||MOT||Nema 17 stepper motor||2||2||$13.99||$27.98||17HS16-2004S||Stepper Online|
|nema23_motor||MOT||Nema 23 stepper motor||1||1||$16.00||$16.00||23HS22-1504S||Stepper Online|
|pin_hub||MOT||1/4" pin clamp||2||2||$7.99||$15.98||545588||McMaster Carr|
|pin||MOT||1/4"x 3" pin||1||1||$4.20||$4.20||6061K411||Servocity|
|worm_gear||MOT||32 pitch, 14.5˚ PA, 50T worm gear||1||1||$38.50||$38.50||G1029||McMaster Carr|
|worm_drive||MOT||32 pitch, 14.5˚PA worm drive||1||1||$23.84||$23.84||LTHB1||Amazon|
|128T_gear||MOT||128T, 32 pitch 1" bore gear||1||1||$16.99||$16.99||615238||Servocity|
|hub_clamp||MOT||1" clamping hub||1||1||$5.99||$5.99||545354||Servocity|
|flanged_bearing||MOT||1" bore flanged bearing||2||2||$6.48||$12.96||535051||Servocity|
|shaft||MOT||1" bore shaft||1||1||$4.49||$4.49||635166||Servocity|
|pinion_16T||MOT||5mm bore 32 pitch, 16T pinion gear||1||1||$7.99||$7.99||615342||Servocity|
|pinion_20T||MOT||1/4" bore 32 pitch, 20T pinion gear||1||1||$7.99||$7.99||615246||Servocity|
|pinion_24T||MOT||1/4" bore 32 pitch, 24T pinion gear||1||1||$7.99||$7.99||615250||Servocity|
|arduino_mega||CNT||Arduino Mega micro controller||1||1||$45.95||$45.95||2560 R3||Sparkun|
|tilt_bracket||PLC||brackets for tilt||2||2||custom||custom||custom||timsavas|
|motor_bracket_left||PLC||tilt motor mount, left||1||1||custom||custom||custom||timsavas|
|motor_bracket_right||PLC||tilt motor mount, right||1||1||custom||custom||custom||timsavas|
|arduino_bracket||PLC||arduino Mega mount||2||2||custom||custom||custom||timsavas|
|arduino_mount||PLC||plate for Arduino||1||1||custom||custom||custom||timsavas|