The Z Slider is a build it as you need it camera slider system for film and time lapse photography. An expandable budget minded system. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on April 6, 2012.
About this project
Update 4: I have updated the Motor for the Motor package. It's now a high quality Dayton Offset Gear Motor. We are taking on the cost adjustment of the higher quality motor during the Kickstarter project. This motor runs better and stronger and the new setup allows for easy changing of different RPM motors for future motor trade outs.
Update 3: I am working on future optional accessories. I am creating a bolt on carrying handle and a swing system, which with certain tripod heads, will allow a turning motion of the camera while sliding.
Update 2: I have changed out the screws for the foldaway legs to thumb screws to allow for easy setup of the rail system. No more Allen wrench needed. Now faster setup of your rail without having to carry tools.
Update 1: I have updated and added a motor and controller reward. ($550) This was originally an un-soldered kit, but now comes completely assembled, and programmed for the motor included. The controller is a time lapse controller which allows for move shoot move timelapse, and many other features. I am including a 12V adapter for power and a Pelican Case to protect your motor controller unit.
What is the Z slider system?
The Z Slider System is a blot on belt drive kit for the Igus camera slider system. It allows cinematic and time lapse photographers to adapt an inexpensive, but quality slider to a hand crank or motorized system. And doing this easily, with no drilling and affordability compared to other systems on the market.
Why was the Z Slider System created?
Foremost to allow people to create Dynamic Motion in their cinematic and time lapse productions. However, the Z Slider System was created to help fill a gap for people who can not afford to spend a great deal of money out of pocket, all at once for a complete slider system. It also allows for a slider system that can be easily built to the user’s needs in stages. The Z Slider System allows you to purchase a manual Igus slider, which is a quality slider, hundreds less than other brands on the market. Next, when you are ready, the system can be upgraded to the Z Slider System, which adds a belt driven, hand crank drive to your pre-existing Igus slider. This gives added control for smoother slides of the camera. And with incremental markings on the hand wheel, you have the ability for micro adjustments for stepping with time lapse. Ready to take it to the next level? Add our optional motor mount, and you can add a motor with the speed of your choice, and motor controller for your needs. This gives you the ability to add a motor systems based on the filmmakers or photographers needs. With our system you are not confined to one type or another, but exactly what you are looking for. It also allows you to order sliders at custom lengths, for your specific needs. Get a standard 40” track from Igus or order a 70” and add our system. Finally since you are not confined to a motor and controller provided by us, it allows you to shop around for the best price for your needs; however, we would be happy to suggest a motor and controller for you, based on your application.
What does the Z Slider System include?
The Z Slider includes two custom gear blocks which bolt on to the pre-existing holes on the Igus w1080 rail. It includes a hand wheel with increments for micro adjustments. Also included is a set of legs that bolt on to give your system a little lift, a new slider plate with bolt for a 3/8” tripod/video head and belt tensioning mechanism to tighten the belt drive, and (optional) is a motor mount for those who want to get ready to jump to the next level. Also included is a Z Slider lens cloth.
Why doesn't the Z Slider System come with its own slider rail?
We chose not to design the rail to help keep cost down for us, as well as the people who want to have a slider system of their own. Igus makes quality slider rails with bearings that are both popular and affordable. Many systems are already based upon the Igus rail but don’t allow for the flexibility of customization our system allows for our users.
Which Igus rail does the Z slider work on?
Currently it is designed around the Igus W1080 slider rail. Though we plan on adapting it to other Igus rails in the future to add more flexibility to people’s needs and costs. We chose the W1080 due to the size which allows for a heavier camera system than some of the other size rails available. This rail can be found at the Igus web site, as well as Amazon.
How easy is the system to assemble and use?
We will be creating an instructional video on how to assemble our system, which we will send a link to all of our backers. After assembling the Gear blocks, basically it’s replacing 8 bolts on the slider, using the pre-existing Igus bearings. And 4 bolts to attach the legs and bearing blocks. You will run the belt through the gear blocks, hook and crimp the belt onto the slider, add tension, and your slider will be up and running. (Tools needed - Standard Allen wrenches, Phillips head screw driver, pliers, a pair of scissors and about 15 min of your time).
Sample footage using the Z Slider
Why does the Z Slider need funding?
We need to raise funds for the first production run of our slider to make it available to market. It will help cover the initial costs of machine setup and machining the custom blocks for the Igus slider. (All custom parts machined and built in the US). We are looking for the minimum funding possible to get the product out of prototype and into production, and to help make funding a success for us and our backers. Backer’s pledges will only pay for their selected rewards if we meet our goal of $17,500. We welcome and are thankful for every dollar you can pledge, even if it’s only $1! However if you donate at least $10 you will receive a Z Slider target lens cloth for your camera bag.
When will the Z slider start shipping?
The goal is to have the systems manufactured, packaged and shipped by July. We are going to offer the first Z Slider Systems a handful of backers who can give us a little extra help in our funding and hope to get those to them by June or earlier. While you wait for your bolt on kit, it will give you time to order an Igus W1080 slider to get you use to using a rail, then take it to the next level when you receive our Z Slider System.
What if you have more Questions?
You can email me directly - firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to answer any questions. Please help us get the word out and like us on Facebook or send a tweet! This will only be possible with your help! If you can't afford to back us, we ask you to share! Thank you for your support!
Our New Motor Reward
Now comes fully assembled and programmed for use. This means you will be up and running faster. The $550 reward will no longer require soldering. Each one will come with a motor, the controller, motor mount included, 12V power adapter and a Pelican 1010 to protect your controller for storage. ** SEE PROJECT UPDATES
Our motor mount is designed around gear motors which can be found at Servocity. Link Below. Depending on your application will determine speeds you may look for for time lapse you really don't need a motor much over 10 rpm. But for a video slide if you want to go faster I would stick with no more than the 81 rpm. This will get you the full distance of the slider in about 10 sec. The motor at Servocity will run about $25+shipping. You can find similar ones on ebay for less than $15 with free shipping. (you will need a 1/4" to 1/4" coupler to attach the motor to our system http://servocity.com/html/set_screw_shaft_couplers.html
Link to motors that fit the Z slider: http://servocity.com/html/3-12v_gear_motors.html
If you want to find an alternative motor here is a link to the mounting configuration for the motors: http://servocity.com/assets/images/Hsiang_Neng_Schematic_1.jpg
Ebay sample:http://www.ebay.com/itm/Diameter-37mm-12V-DC-60-RPM-High-Torque-Gear-Box-Electric-Motor-/260874300063… Note:shipping on these can take up to a month!
There are several options, You should look for a PWM (Pulse-width modulation)controller. If these motors hit a stall point the gears can jam. A PWM controller will help prevent you from destroying motors. There are a number of places to look and you can find controllers of all different types and price ranges. Below are Options for Video and finally Time Lapse.
For straight motion for video work you could get on from servocity, But they will be more expensive $150 with a dial control and PWM. However, you can hook them up to a radio transmitter for remote control of the motor.
There are a also cheaper less sophisticated ones for as little at $23. Second Option:http://www.electronickits.com/kit/complete/motor/ck1400.htm or http://www.canakit.com/5a-motor-speed-controller-pwm.html Some of these require building it from a kit.
For a time lapse setup you will need to use something a little more sophisticated like an MX2 controller. which you can buy as a pre-built unit for about $225 or as a kit which will run you about $80 + some soldering and programming. This unit will also run your motor in a continuous mode for video. (I got the Kit and assembled it) Not for the weak at heart!
MX2 Kit (Dolly Shield) $55:http://dynamicperception.com/index.php… - You will also need a Arduino Duemilanove Board $20: http://www.amazon.com/Arduino-Duemilanove-Board/dp/B004A7L3NC (This is the version I went with.)
You can run most of the Controllers and motors from a 12V SLA Battery. These can be found at places like Home Depot or online. You will have to refer to the motor controller of your choice for the amps it can handle in most cases 5 amp is plenty. $15. Link: http://www.batteriesandthings.com/products/12-Volt-5-Amp-Sealed-Lead-Acid-Battery.html
I personally have a Vagabond power pack from Paul C Buff. A little pricey at $240. But I can power my motor controller for time lapse and my camera for long shooting periods. I have gotten 4 hours of use in the field and still had more than half the charge left on its lithium battery. Link http://www.paulcbuff.com/vm120.php
That depends on your application. You could spend as little as $55 for the whole motor setup for a basic system with a $15 chinese motor, $25 (PWM) controller, and $15 12V SLA Battery. (On the very cheap you could hook up a variable speed cordless drill (without motor mount attached), but I recommend a dedicated motor system as you could damage the gear shaft)
If you are looking for higher quality and better control of your motor along with your camera and power for everything, you could spend as much as $500. Like spending $25 on the motor, $225 on a time laspe/video controller, and $240 for a Lithium Power pack that will power your Slider and Camera for up to about 8 hours.
Go to http://igus.com. On the right side of the screen select your country from the drop down menu.
You will need to order two parts. The Slide rail and the Carriage Slider.
The Slide Rail model # is: WS-10-80 DryLin W double rail (1000mm)
The Carriage needed is model #: WW-10-80-10 DryLin W guide carriage
You can also look at http://www.robotshop.com/ Select your location on the main page. Then look at their Cytron Spur Gearmotors. These will fit our system. They also offer PWM Motor controllers.
The kit will include a 12v motor to work with the MX2 Time Lapse Controller. The motor will be pre wired to plug into the motor controller. The Controllers secondary board will be pre-programmed with the software for the controller which will allow you to control you motor speed, direction, and shutter control for a camera. It will also include a 3mm screw to attach the motor to our Motor mount and a coupler to connect the Z Slider Drive System to the motor. The kit also includes a 12v power adapter to run the system. (We are updating this reward, and it will come fully assembled. No soldering required.)
The easiest place to order a rail with a bearing slide is Amazon, who seems to be their main sales source. they offer 2 versions with the mounting holes needed for our system. The w1080-A for $131 and the w1080-C for $161 that has a lock for the slider. Links below respectively. Do Not get the W1080-B as it does not have the mounting holes. My slider is shown with the W1080-C.
Igus W1080-A $131: http://www.amazon.com/DryLin%C2%AE-W1080-Linear-Motion-Sliders/dp/B003Y54PPY
- (60 days)