Photographic Sweep Stand

by HPaul, published

Photographic Sweep Stand by HPaul Jun 20, 2013

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This was inspired by "Paper Clip to set up simple photo background" http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:95180 The curves of slepcat's design are a great idea, but I wanted to use heavier paper than the slots accommodated, and I wished the paper wouldn't come out of the slots so easily. I also wanted a sweep that could stand on its own with more stability.
Although not as elegant as the original, the stand in this design holds thin paper well and also allows for thicker sheets. The rear post helps support a higher background, and there is a plate behind the sweep that can be weighted for added stability.
Please see Instructions for assembly notes.


The file "Paper-Sweep-complete.stl" contains all the parts needed, laid out on a 175mm x 175mm bed, For printers with smaller beds, download the separate parts, printing the pin twice.

The platens attach to the stands as shown using the the pins which go through the holes in the stands and are forced or glued into the receiving holes of the platens. Although most people find this works, there have been a few who've had the pins print out too small; if so, use 3/16" or M5 bolts & nuts.
To use, open the platen and feed the paper between the pivot and the stand. Holding the paper against the stand, close the platen and secure it under the hook on the stand.
The flat plates behind the curves are for weights which are needed for heavier paper. If you plan to use only one size of paper, clamping or gluing the stands to a stiff cardboard or foam-core board will make the setup easier and even more stable.

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Printed a set today on an Anet A8. Worked just fine. I used an pair of stainless steel M5 bolts with nyloc nuts to finish off and it now really looks the part.

I tried these stands with A3 medium thickness paper. Super. I also tried it with A2 500g paper. Did it too after some pre-bending that very thick paper. The A3 paper is what I will use btw.

Great job and very useful. I love it.

Thanks for the comments, glad it's useful.

Just printed it with my XYZPrinting MiniMaker, nice 3D Model.
Came out perfect, pin were tight (add to use pliers to put them in), thanks for sharing :-)

I printed everything in 0.3mm layer height, 90% of infill (solid), normal shells and standard speed.

Thanks for the comment, glad it worked out for you. Hope you enjoy using it.

What size/weight of paper can you fit in it

The sides are independent, so any size paper can fit between them. I have used thin cardboards with no trouble.

I've wondered how well it would work to upscale the print for larger sheets of paper (any looseness in the gripping power would be taken up with additional sheets or pieces of paper).

You're welcome, glad you like it.

Could you seperate the Platen file? 1 part did not print properly and i don't want to print another 2 of them.

File is uploaded as "Paper_Sweep_Single_Platen"

Maybe use "left/right" in the naming instead of "reversed" ? :(

Thanks for the suggestion, but you can't really change a description once the file is published. I would think the orientation is pretty obvious when viewing the photo and using the stands.

If you realize that you need 2 different parts instead of printing only one two times, I'm sure you would :)

My solution for keeping the pins in place was to use a soldering iron, let it heat up and jam that baby into the end of the pin and the edges roll over.

Pins are printing in awful quality, even when using the "High" quality preset. Makerbot replicator. Any advice?

If you read the instructions and the other comments, it seems a lot of people have had problems with the pins (though they seem to have worked fine for others). Use a 3/16" bolt instead.

There are 5 things, and I have no idea what to print. Everything, nothing, quantity? Would love some better description/instruction.

Print one “Paper Sweep Stand”, one “Paper Sweep Stand Reversed”, one “Paper Sweep Platen” (contains both arms needed), and two “Paper Sweep Pin”, one for each stand.

Read the instructions and see the illustration for assembly.

If you read the the instructions and comments, some people have had trouble with the pins not fitting correctly. If you have that problem, you can use scale the pins up (or down) or use bolts in their place.

Okay, thank you. So it sounds like I need to print 1 x Paper_Sweep_Stand_v2, 1 x Paper_Sweep_Stand_Reversed_v2, 1 x Paper_Sweep_Platen_v2, and 2 x Paper_Sweep_Pin, and then I'll have all parts needed.

Comments deleted.

i like your design.. and useful too.

This printed out beautifully, but I did need to scale the pins to 110% for a snug fit. I find it a bit fiddly to get the paper in, but that's user error and it works really well once I get it right. Thank you for a great model!

Thank you for the kind comment. The easiest way to use the stand (once you’ve settled on a paper size) is to attach it to a surface, after which the paper will simply slide in from above.

Great idea, I'll do that. Again, thanks :)

Great! I printed it on my prusa i3, the pins printed and fitted perfectly, I had to hammer them in gently and they stay in place without any glue! I will post a make later, thanks for the design!

can you upload a file of just one of the arms?

Done – check the Thing Files for the single arm.

my pin is .185-.187 but the other holes are .208 and base hole is .230.. wonder is its a makerware problem? i wish i wouldve read comments b4 making..

Comments deleted.

Just want to let you know that I really like your design. I use it all the time when photographing my things. Today I didn’t crop it out: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:595875
Thanks again!

lightning stand swosh i2

Thanks, that’s nice to hear. I never expected this item to be as popular as it is and I'm glad so many people find it useful.

works great for me! i had to hammer the pin in a little bit and it holds really well. Thanks for making this!

Useless, not working at all. Pins fall off, they do not fix anything anywhere. Clips are too far away.. All in all a pure waste of time.

that's probably a lack of quality from your printer. Just saying.

Amazon has a patent on taking a photograph using a white background. I thought this model is kind of ironic since I just watch this movie a second ago.

nice object ! have print in abs .. good result and fonctionnaly .. ! thks .!!

I found this print to have frustrating results, pin was too small and easily falls out, had to re-scale up to have snug fit with glue. Also the closing mechanism does not snugly secure paper, even with card stock its still a loose fit and during positioning they often come apart and paper falls out. Would have been nice to have these with a fine tolerance.

Neat idea though.

I agree.
This object is not efficient.
Same problems as 85miles.
Need to be reworked.

Regarding the PIN:
Perhaps you could use filament as the pin. Pins can easily be created by snipping a piece of filament.. roll it on your hot bed until its nice and straight & then up end it, heat it up & push down on the end to create the rivet head.
( got this method from Maker magazine )

HPaul, May I have left side Paper_Sweep_Stand file ?

What am I doing wrong? The pins print out too thin, they are not force fit, so the platens fall off of the stands. If I put glue on it, I wouldn't be able to open the stand to fit paper in.

Printing the pin at 105% worked for me.

This is the first I've heard of this as a problem. Have you changed the scale in your slicing application?
You can also use bolts to hold the pieces together; use a second nut as a locknut to adjust the tension..

I didn't change the scale originally, I am using Makerware. I ended up scaling the pins up a little bit and used a dremel to make adjustments. It works excellent. Thanks for making this.

I just wrapped some teflon pipe tape around the pins to snug them up.

The back side of the arch is not manifold, not that it really affects the final output. My printer prints that back arc as a separate piece from the main piece if that makes any sense. They are so close that the plastic actually adheres though.

Yes, I saw that too. I'm not sure why the .stl prints out that way, since MeshLab shows all faces as manifold. As you say, it doesn't affect the final output so I didn't try to change the file.

Okay, I revisited the CAD file and cleared up the problem. The new file has been uploaded.