Archive for July 17th, 2011

Thing-O-Matic: Webcam Pole Mount

Webcam pole - in action

Webcam pole - in action

Some upcoming presentations on 3D printing need a way to show what’s going on inside the box. I’ve had various webcams affixed to various parts of the Thing-O-Matic, but nothing worked quite right: the camera was either in the wrong spot, at the wrong angle, or just flat-out in the way.

The helmet mirror project produced a trio of three-draw telescoping shafts that looked promising, so I drilled suitable holes in two chunks of scrap make-from plastic and produced a pole mount for a Logitech camera without doing a bit of machining. The camera wants to clamp onto a notebook and works fine atop a block of acrylic, with the cable secured to the base of the pole to prevent the whole thing from falling over at the slightest tug.

I briefly considered printing a nice clip to hold the cable to the pole, then came to my senses and used a cable tie. After all, that’s what they’re for, right?

A dot of clear epoxy in each hole prevents the blocks from rotating on the shafts; they’re sufficiently un-round to give it a decent grip. I clamped the pole in a V-block to keep it perpendicular to the base while the epoxy cured:

Webcam pole - clamping

Webcam pole - clamping

The white LEDs under the Z-stage produce far too much glare and reflect in the Kapton tape; a switch to knock ’em off for video viewing seems in order.

(If anybody else is keeping track, this is Post 1000. Although we humans love numbers with plenty of zeroes, Post 10000 will pose a challenge…)