DIY Camera Slider Plans, v3.3 (Experimental)


Let me state this upfront: There are dozens, if not hundreds of well-documented DIY builds for camera sliders. Why did I choose to re-invent the wheel here? For a couple reasons:

1) I want to use materials available at my destination for rails where possible. This generally means EMT conduit OR PVC. Few other systems give you this flexibility, especially if they use grooved wheels or fixed attachment points.
2) I want to be able to run the platform like a mini camera dolly on the ground, or upside down on rails. This means the bearings need to be oriented vertically and horizontally. No 45-degree angling.
3) I want the material cost to be as low as possible, thus MDF for the first prototypes, maybe polycarbonate or another plastic in the future.

If these design assumptions and compromises make sense to you, then maybe you may want to experiment with my design…


You will need…
5/16″ (or 8mm) hardware to secure the bearings (8mm ID)
1/4″-20 hardware (bolts, nuts, threaded inserts) to secure everything else on the main platform
#6 hardware (optional) to secure clamp add-ons like stepper motor mount
1/4″ neodymium magnets
Slider components, see below.


Slider 3.3 Package
This package contains SVGs of all the parts (main platform of slider provided as STL also), and a STEP assembly for reference. Parts are designed as snug-fit, so you may need to adjust machining margins to eliminate interference between parts, depending on material thickness. My MDF was 0.256″ thick, and thus all slots are in increments of 0.256″.

See it in action…

Future upgrade plans call for adjustable feet (downward-facing threaded inserts w/ 1/4-20 bolts as leveling feet), and nested components for more efficient material use when subtractively manufactured.

One thought on “DIY Camera Slider Plans, v3.3 (Experimental)

  1. Hello Winston. Very nice project! I think you are doing a great job with this. Yesterday I built a prototype with a friend adapting to the materials we had at hand. We laser printed and came out with a pretty good results. Here are some pictures and a small video.

    We found pretty stern 1.4mm steel roads, They´re coated with some plastic that works pretty good as a grip. The sliders has pretty good results, however we encounter and issue with the derailing of the back wheels, produce by the flexibility of the roads when they open up due to force, for ej. movement that can be transmitted by operating the camera. And also the tension created by the grip of the the base. The issue maybe its not appearing with smaller roads.

    Link to the prototype and the derailing

    To this issue i can observe 3 possibilities:
    1- Stiffer roads. Tis will reduce flexibility.
    2- The addison of 2 ball bearings in the back.
    3- A structural join in the roads which helps to keep the rod straigh.

    …for the first one im thinking of filling up the rods with concrete. That will leave them rock solid. Heavy; but they will be able to carry heavier loads, there will be less movemente and no flexibility. But you wont put them in your suit case.

    What do you guys think?
    bye, Andrés

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