Over the years I've made my fair share of camera sliders, from very simple 2x4 sliders to more complicated wooden sliders. Most of them worked well enough since they were motorized, but they weren't great and without the motor it was difficult to move them steadily. Now that I have a 3D printer, I thought I'd have another go at making a slider. This time I opted for aluminum rails and printed bushings.
The tension of the bushings can be adjusted with an Allen key, which allows you to compensate for wear over time and adjust the friction of the slider. The rails are supported by printed end pieces with legs that can be adjusted using convenient knobs, and feature a locking mechanism to prevent any slippage.
The main carriage is a sturdy plate with a slot for a tripod bolt, and could easily have a tripod head mounted to it if you prefer. This slider is also extremely lightweight; it weighs almost nothing! It is best suited for smaller DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and small camcorders. A heavier version could be made for a larger camera.
Check out the following video to see the camera slider in action!
Parts and Cost
To build this slider you will need:
- 2 pieces of 3/4" Aluminum tube
- 12 10mm M3 machine screws (for mounting bushings)
- 4 M3 set screws (for locking tubes into end pieces)
- 16 M3 nuts
- 4 30mm M5 hex head bolts (for tightening legs)
- 4 20mm M5 hex head bolts (for attaching feet)
- 4 16mm M5 allen bolts (for tightening bushings)
- 8 M5 nuts
- Printed parts
The aluminum cost about $10, the printed parts amount to roughly $5, and the hardware can be purchased for $5-$10. Once you have all of the parts, assembly is a breeze; no drilling or cutting, just bolt it all together. For roughly $20 and a little bit of work, you have a smooth slider with adjustable legs and adjustable friction.
All of the files can be downloaded for free right here.
Print your own and tell us about it in the comments! Stay tuned for a motorized version and future improvements.