Shooting great moving shots with a camera can be done with super steady hand but sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes you need a mount to help get those shots to be steady and precise. Unfortunately some if this equipment can be really expensive for someone starting out and can creating videos as a hobby. So we designed this awesome DIY dolly using some Skateboard wheels, Solidworks and 3D printing. We used this technology to create an affordable alternative to the expensive dolly’s on the market.
To design this we wanted to use the same shoe as the one used in our tripod. This can allow us to mount the shoe on the camera and quickly switch it to the dolly if needed.
We started in Solidworks by reverse engineering the tripod shoe. From this we created a little prototype to see of the shoe fits. We printed out the prototype and it fits like a glove… or sock… for the shoe.
From this model we were able to build the dolly. We decide to use two gears so that when you turn one axel the opposite one will mirror that allowing you to create smooth turns. When spacing the wheels to ensure there the turning circle is large enough we used a pattern rotate on the wheels. This allowed us to see what the wheelbase should be. We then added the final details and sent the parts to print.
The first version we printed didn’t work too well. The tolerances were too loose and the axles wobbled a lot. So we added some slots to to the gears to make them more stable. We printed this new version and it worked out great. The version on the left is the first version and the right is the final version.
We then assembled the parts. We used threaded rods as the axles and used nuts to fasten the wheels in place. It’s a real easy assembly and we are ready to roll. We got our camera out and took it for a test run. We just took some test shots before setting up a back drop and creating some glamour shots.
Using solidworks and 3D printing we are able to create affordable accessories to create new and different shots with ut breaking the bank. 3D printing is allowing users to create their own unique take on products they wish to own which are either too expensive to purchase or they need to adapt it to a certain use that they need. To view the shots we created, watch the video below.