Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Pan & Tilt w/NEMA17 Steppers

by tetralite Jun 23, 2018
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I made this, and overall its a pretty good design. It works pretty well. The biggest problems I noticed are when the unit has a camera on it (and I have a relatively smaller DSLR (canon 700D with a smaller manual lens) when you pan the camera the shifting weight puts a ton of stress on the mount point and unless you have an unbelievably solid mount, the shifting weight is a problem. I think the base needs to be UNDER the Pan head. When I import in the STL files to Fusion 360, the meshes are complex. Are you willing to share any of the original files so I can made a few modifications?

Overall this is a really cool design, and it is well done. Oh yeah, I had some issues with my original NEMA 17s. They were a bit weak until I messed with the vRef on the drivers. THat helped, but what made it even better was switching to TMC-2208 drivers. Now the operation is silent and the steppers run very well.

Really appreciate you posting this update! This was my first project I created with my new 3D printer! (Creality CR-10S Pro)

I use a quick release shoe to mount it to the tripod head, and it's solid with a Sony FDR-AX100 video cam that weighs 2 pounds.

Just thought I would weigh in here - I found the same thing with the tripod mount in that it was way too 'floppy'. I did away with the tripod altogether and just attached glued on a base of plywood so it could be sat on benches, the ground, etc. Having a tripod is nice but isn't really needed for long exposure night timelapses and the like

Your second stepper should work by using the 18-tooth pulley for a 5mm shaft in the stl file list: https://www.thingiverse.com/download:5098729
The geared motor might work by enlarging the hole to 6mm in the same pulley, but that extra body length of the motor wuld require a change to the tripod mount for the pan motor.

Thanks, I will try it out.

G'day! Do you think could design a version of this that uses herringbone gears with a 2:1 ratio? Would be extremely grateful if you were able to! :)

That would be a major re-design. By the time I finish this "work in progress" design I most likely will not want to make more changes. I still have a lot of things to fix in the current version as posted. The reason I used a belt drive instead of direct gear drive was to eliminate the potential backlash that goes with gears (and the original design that inspired this one uses a belt).

Have ended up sticking with your design - really happy I did, the TPU belts are way stronger and work a lot better than I expected. Nicely designed!

For the record - I have ordered bearings but in the meantime assembled it without any needle rollers and simple printed bushes in place of the 608ZZs and it actually works quite well. The bigger needle rollers could almost definitely be omitted from the design and even the 608ZZs could be left out if smooth movement and longevity weren't a major concern for the builder.

Will post a make when the steppers arrive. Thanks again for sharing