Build A Motorized Slider With A Pen (And A Bunch Of Other Stuff)

motor and controller circuitTime lapse movies are getting more and more attention now. And as time lapse movies are getting more common, it takes more to create an outstanding time lapse. That more is moment. (There is a very good intro by Vincent Laforet on that).

If you want more control that what you get from a rotisserie grill or an egg timer, we have the project for you. Motorized sliders start at about $700, but if you have the spare time and solder mania you can get by at about $100 (and a pen) with a build guide from Jeff Tolentino.

But first here is a small glimpse of the capabilities taken with an EOS Rebel T1i:

The system is build from three main parts:

  • A Slider
  • A Dolly
  • A Motor & gear box

If a you are just here for a cheap/sturdy slider/dolly combo, you can skip the motor part. But if you want to take those amazing time-lapse movies, and you are a soldering ninja, invest a bit of time with the motor and gear box. (Ok, you don’t have to be a soldering ninja, actually, there is no soldering at all with the breadboard).

You would still need to get an intervalometer, like the Pearstone Jeff used, but if you are into time lapses you probably have one already.

Since this is something you would probably want to take out and print for the build, we got a nice downloadable PDF, with a complete parts list and full instructions.

Here is how the slider works when built:

This is the constructed dolly:


The motor:

motor and controller circuit

And dolly on the slider


This makes me think… what other small rotating things can be used to pull a camera on a string?