April 27, 2017 AT 5:00 am

Flat-Pack Camera Arm #3DThursday #3DPrinting

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Shared by gianteye on Thingiverse

While writing MAKE: Soft Robotics, I’ve discovered I need more hands than I actually own to properly document all of the projects I’ve been developing. I built this plywood camera arm and foot switch to try and extend my project documentation powers.

You can find photos and videos of the cutting, finishing, assembly, and final thing here. You can also find some more project notes here.

I designed this in SolidWorks, cut it out on a ShopBot with a 1/4″ endmill, and finished it with shellac. The arm works well, though I have a few edits I’d make to it if I had to do it all over again – tightening up the tolerances on the friction fits and giving it longer lever arms on the upper screw handles, but I’m very happy with the results despite.

You don’t need SolidWorks to build your own camera arm based on these files, but you’ll likely have to do some shimming or sanding on the friction fits and mortise and tenon joints if you aren’t able to adjust the CAD for the specific thickness of plywood you end up with. Since plywood is a natural material, no two sheets are ever quite the same.

Also, before you post in all caps in the comments, I know I’m mixing metric and imperial, here. I tend to work in metric fasteners in my shop, so have them on hand. However, I live and work in the great US of A, so the Imperial system is unavoidable. You’re smart folks. I know you can keep it straight. If you have trouble, Google can convert measurements automatically, now.

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Download the files and learn more

Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!

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