Built a 3d printed 3/2 axis slider and I need some advice for the next version


New time-lapser
Hi, I built a 3d printed slider, and would need advice.
Would you tolerate a probable error of +-4% on the Yaw and tilt axis. So lets say you ask for 50 degree rotation at the end of the timelapse you might get 48 to 52 degree of rotation. Is this a major flaw that would make you not use this timelapse or is this tolerable ?
If you are interested why those are the technical reasons for that.
My goal is to create something portable and that does not use much battery.
So I used worm gears (30:1) as you see in the picture so when the an axis is not moving it can cut the current in the motor and save battery.
The stepper motors have 200 steps per revolution, so 1 step is 1.8 degree, since theres the worm gear you get 1.8/30 = 0.06 degree per steps.
I learned while testing the slider that upon power up the stepper motors goes to home position. It has 50 of them so they are placed about every 4 steps. So I cant turn the current off since if I just move one or 2 steps upon power up I might go 3 steps forward or backwards.
My solution would be to use a 100:1 planetary geared stepper. Witch reduces the error to +-4%. And since you probably do hundreds of pictures at the end of the timelapse the error usually would almost even out since on every steps its +-. So would 4% be tolerable ?

Ps, for those interested this is a almost fully printable slider that can be built for under 300$. I will soon release
all the files necessary to built it, the source code for the controller and the android app.

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Time Lapse Network Founder
Staff member
Interesting project :)
So you plan to publicly release the whole at no charge for everyone?


New time-lapser
Yes for sure. Just need to fix a couple issues and it should be good.
Here is the controller I made, (not final version), the parts on it can be acquired from eBay at 20$. The board can made from Chinese PCB at 15$. Just need to solder some stuff. It comes to a way better price then most controllers out there.

Eventually if people start to build this project I would love to collect some money to create a custom aluminium extrusion. A rail perfectly made for this slider. But thats just me dreaming.

Anyway please help me with my initial question. Would you tolerate a +-4% error or is this to much ?

Darren Wilch

Looks good. I'm new to this, think the only issue with accuracy is if repeatability is required, for example taking 2 pictures to create a panorama, and repeat, maybe fixable in after effects.
For build, I understand the use of worm and wheel to remove back drive, but I would have gone with commercial gears which accuracy would be greater than laser printed parts, and therefore allow for smaller assemblies. For my diy job (not quite ready), I've stuck to HTD belts, as backlash is minimal.


New time-lapser
I actually resolved my problem, I am almost finished with a new PCB design. It uses DRV8825 drivers witch have an encoder that returns when the stepper hits home position.
My printed parts are actually printed with FDM printer.
I also changed for geared stepper motors. and I am going to change the design to work with 2 rails, so it will support a big DSLr

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