OpenBuilds C-Beam Double Slider

by buffcleb, published

OpenBuilds C-Beam Double Slider by buffcleb May 13, 2016


This uses an OpenBuilds C-beam and can be used both motorized or not.

I have this up on OpenBuilds website as well which has a nice BOM as part of the project : http://www.openbuilds.com/builds/openbuilds-c-beam-double-slider.3462/

I'm using a Nema17 motor (http://amzn.to/1skFnRO) with a 5:1 planetary Gearbox.

I added an parts to support geared steppers. The 8mm shaft is shorter then a standard nema17 so I had to offset the motor mount. With a 27:1 geared nema 17 motor (http://amzn.to/1Xpih7N) I can do vertical movements. The parts are :

Motor Plate for geared stepper.stl
herringbone gears for geared stepper.stl
Geared Nema17 Adapter.stl

The End Brackets use 2 608 bearings each (for a total of 4) (http://amzn.to/1TaW1z5) to support a 8mm shaft. I drilled a 3mm hole through the shaft for the herringbone gear & the gt2 pulley.

I'll be updating this in the coming days with a BOM...

Here's a sample video I did with the unit :


and here's a brief overview :


and lastly a lengthy build video


In the video you'll see my pan & tilt head used : http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1396552

I'm using a miniEngine to control the motion but any controller can be used.

OpenBuild parts
C-Beam : http://openbuildspartstore.com/c-beam-linear-rail/
C-Beam Double Wide Gantry Plate : http://openbuildspartstore.com/c-beam-gantry-plate-double-wide/
Mini V-Wheels : http://openbuildspartstore.com/delrin-mini-v-wheel-kit/

Misc parts
4 608 bearings - http://amzn.to/1TaW1z5)
8mm shaft - I'm using 5/16 steel shaft from home depot
I drilled a 3mm hole through the shaft for the herringbone gear & the gt2 pulley.
gt2 belt - http://amzn.to/1X8UGIC
8 m5 bolts to secure the end plates to the c-beam - I used 25mm ones from http://openbuildspartstore.com/low-profile-screws-m5/
4 m3 45mm bolts for the belt tensioner - http://amzn.to/1R1A1Pq
4 m3 nuts - http://amzn.to/24R5OfD
4 m5 bolts to secure belt tensioner to the gantry plate - I think i'm using 8mm - http://openbuildspartstore.com/low-profile-screws-m5/
zip ties

I redesigned the belt tensioner and am not using this one, http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1564560. It keeps the belt more inline keeping more teeth in the bite of the pulley while putting less force on all the parts...

If using the motor option :
1 Nema17 motor - http://amzn.to/1skFnRO) with a 5:1 planetary Gearbox.

Edit ::
I switch controllers to simplify the wiring to a Dynamic Perception NMX. Here's a demo video showing both horizontal & inclined use : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0ec4FYKiSw

I weighed the slider with the pan & tilt head in at just under 10pounds. My camera weighs about 3 pounds... so this setup is capable of lifting 13 pounds fully vertical...

Print Settings

Printer Brand:



FolgerTech 2020 i3










printed all parts with PET-G...

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How is the c-beam attached so it can slide with the tripod base?!? And what's the tripod base connection made with the belt to extend the rail's motion?!?

check the construction video... should show you what you need... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y7jwQNCfKA&feature=youtu.be

Jun 5, 2016 - Modified Jun 5, 2016

I had just finished a recent slider project, using OpenBuilds C-Beam parts, and was curious about other slider designs. I was surprised to see a build that was not unlike mine. I like your creation...and accessories. Great job. I will be posting my build soon, and you will be able to see the different paths that I took. Significantly, I have Dynamic Perception parts, Stage R Motion Control parts and NMX controller. The controller is the single thing that allows simple control with a compact battery. My motor is a DP 19:1 gear motor on one end on a quick release bracket, and a bracket that holds the NMX and an 8000 mAH battery on the other. The motor wiring runs through the C-Beam. The other difference I see is that I inverted the C-Beam, and my bottom trolley is 3/8" Aluminum with 6 full size Xtreme wheels for a solid. base My camera dolly fits inside the open C-Beam, and will actually support a Stage R Pan motor, an ARCA compatible L bracket with a tilt, and my Olympus OMD-eM1 mirrorless...with less than a 1/4" sag on the end of the stroke. I will get busy and make my post with details. Paul

very cool I look forward to seeing your design... for this design I need a better way to attach the motor... something tool-less... maybe a cam like on the front wheel of a mtn bike...

I'm thinking of making a lighter unit that uses two 20x20 rails and the trollies will run on the inside and outside of a them... it would be much much lighter... and I have a mill coming so I can do my own custom plates...

oh you already have a stage R but check out my Rotator which was heavily influenced by the stage R : http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1396552

Once I have the mill I'm planning on converting it to a cnc... the weakest park of my rotator is the rotating disk... it works but it could be stiffer... planning on redesigning the part and making it out of aluminum...

Camera Rotator

Chris...thanks for the response. I will post my build when it stops raining in Georgia, and you can see my solution to a snap in motor. I will probably post on OpenBuilds site since I have no 3D printed parts. I smiled when I saw your Rotator. I had the same idea, but since I don't have a 3D printer yet I would have formed the shell from Delrin, which can be tooled with fine finishes, an is pretty stiff. You can get pre-cut aluminum disks on Ebay that would be perfect...8mm precision rods and a few 8mm id flanged bearings, along with your printed timing pulley would make a plenty stiff unit.

what part of Georgia... my sister-in-law lives on the coast...

Do you have a mill or a laser cutter for cutting the delrin?

Last night I was thinking about the stiffness issue some and I made a change... when I assembled the 70mm disc to the gear I put the belt close to the disc side... I changed it and flipped the gear to the far side... that was there was pressure from the tight belt away from the load... it seemed to tighten things up... going to give it a run and see how it works...

I am in Marietta, just North of Atlanta. No, I don't have a mill or CNC. Let's see, my second career...I became a Master Carpenter, historic trim, stair builder, etc., so I've been a fabricator for years. I use aluminum and sometimes Delrin, which are easily fabricated with good woodworking tools. A chop saw, drill press and disk/belt sanding machine are all I need. I can bang out a custom plate in 5 minutes, drill to specs and sand some nice round corners, and it's ready to use. Remember, for now I am just doing one-off projects. When I use Delrin, I always appreciate how finely it drills and machines. The only odd tool/process I use is to put an mill end in my drill press to cut flat bottom countersinks so my 5mm screw heads are out of the way. I worked on the video some last night...soon.