Perhaps the most simple linear slider with a single rail and a magnetic attachment plate for reusability.

This is a magnetic linear slider platform. Meld your connector onto the platform, print it and switching out devices (but mostly cameras) becomes an easy task.

Timothy Lee Russell | 8/8/2018 3:23:14 AM

Magnetic Linear Slider Platform

I wanted an excuse to use the Recirculating Ball Slide for 1" Square Tube by LoboCNC aka Jeff Kerr (because it's cool) so I decided to build a simple and extremely cheap manual camera slider.

To abstract the recirculating bearing from the 3-axis tripod head that I picked up at a pawn shop in Milton-Freewater, I decided to create a magnetic base that would allow different attachments to the linear bearing.

Impatient? Watch the video.

The Build

I started by printing a test copy of the recirculating ball slide but resized it to 75% to fit a 3/4" inch tube. The resized channels fit a standard BB according to one of the remixers on Thingiverse and at 75% it worked perfectly with the 3/4" inch tube and BBs.

Here is the slide packed with BBs. On the right is a retainer piece that holds the BBs secure as you slide the bearing onto the tube.

Both sides packed with BBs. I used a magnetic base to hold the BBs while I was assembling the slide.

I experimented with some rare earth magnets as an alternative to using the retainer.

With magnets on both sides of the slider, it was possible to assemble without the retainer but be careful. Rare earth magnets can cause you serious harm unless you are used to working with them.

Here is the slide fully assembled with the retainer in place.

After determining that the slide worked for a 3/4" tube, I created a slider with a platform with insets for magnets as well as the adapter piece for converting from the linear slider magnetic base to the tripod head. This is the piece that will be custom for whatever you want to attach to the slider base.

I then created a set of legs for the tubing. These were a remix of 19mm or 3/4 Square Aluminum Tube Corner by madmike8 aka Michael Mullins.

My contribution was extruding the legs off two axes.

The completed print of the legs.

I drilled a hole in the square tubing and then continued that hole through the leg assemblies.

In order to move the slide onto the tubing, a piece of painter's tape prevents BBs from falling through the hole.

Hold the retainer in place and move the slide onto the square tubing.

Add a bolt through the hole and tighten.

The magnetic platform is held in place on the tubing with some tape as the legs are affixed.

The custom mount for the "Costar" tripod head.

A quick dry fit and a test of the inset magnets during this step.

With the magnets glued in using super glue (remember to carefully verify the polarity of the magnets before gluing them in place!) we can test the mount.



Three. And lock.


Here is a video of the slider itself. Since I printed it in translucent plastic, you can see the action of the BBs as the slide moves.

Here is the first footage shot with the slider. The camera is a Sony a6500 with the 55-210mm telephoto lens. It's a bit bumpy with telephoto lens sometimes although I was able to get fairly stable shots with a few tries. Keep in mind, I have never used a camera slider before. It turned out pretty good for a slider that costs less than $10 to build.

The files

Jeff and Michael's licenses are both Share-alike, so here is the collection of modified files with my custom additions.

Download an archive of the .STL files

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