Again when our Ender 3 was shiny and new, one of many first tasks I designed was a mount to carry my webcam. It was an incredible success, but it surely’s slowly been overtaken by occasions. For numerous causes I now have 4 cameras on my monitor, and with all of them on separate mounts issues had been getting greater than a little bit messy up there. Final weekend I made a decision it was time to tidy up a little bit bit, and naturally being a 3D printer fanatic the plain answer was to design and print one thing.
So What Did I Print?
The problem was to mount 4 cameras – my unique webcam, a a lot bigger face recognition webcam, one in every of my Ring safety cameras and the infrared digital camera from a head-tracking system I exploit for flight sims – so that they had been all securely mounted, as near the centreline of the monitor as potential, and didn’t intrude with one another’s fields of view. I rapidly determined that the large webcam ought to keep on its current mount, which works effective and may’t be simply faraway from the digital camera anyway. That left the small webcam and the Ring, each on their very own 3D-printed mounts, and the TrackIR digital camera, which was precariously balanced on high of the large webcam and stored slipping. These three, I made a decision, may all be fitted to a single mount. To get all of the cameras as shut collectively as potential, that mount would wish to suit across the huge webcam with out getting in its manner.
I began off with a design just like my unique webcam mount, however because it doesn’t have to have a speaker clamped to the highest anymore I may simplify it fairly a bit. I additionally redesigned the precise bracket that holds the digital camera. For my first design I used the unique mounting screw that got here with the digital camera, with a few spacers, however that was too lengthy and a bit fiddly. This time I changed it with a shorter M3 bolt and a nut, which simplified issues and likewise made it simpler to tighten it. I added a channel on high to carry the digital camera cable, then began interested by the place to place the opposite two.
My first try had a brief hole pillar, simply excessive sufficient to take the Ring’s mounting screw, that will have positioned it beside the large webcam. Then I considered it a little bit extra and realised that if I turned the pillar right into a mast a few inches excessive, and moved it to the opposite facet, I may get the Ring above the webcam and far nearer to the centre of the monitor. The mast is hole, and for many of its peak the interior diameter is sufficiently big to take the top of the Ring’s mounting screw. The highest 15mm narrows right down to accommodate the M6 screw, leaving 5mm protruding the highest to screw the digital camera onto.
That was two cameras out the best way, however what in regards to the IR tracker? This positively has to be proper within the centre, however that additionally means it’s proper above the large webcam’s clamp. The apparent answer was to mount it on an arm extending out from the mast, so the clamp can match underneath it. I may have built-in the arm into the design, however to keep away from printing a mass of helps underneath the arm I opted to print it individually, with a collar at one finish that’s a friction match on the mast.
Making 3D printed components that match collectively isn’t a exact science. Regardless of how fastidiously you measure, typically issues simply received’t match except you do some experience-based tweaking as you design them. The primary arm I printed wouldn’t match onto the mast; the collar was precisely the suitable dimension, however the floor texture of each components brought about an excessive amount of friction. Making the within of the collar 0.2mm bigger for the second try gave a pleasant cosy push match.
Speaking of a pleasant cosy match, the IR tracker connects to its mount with a really shallow push-fit joint and a pair of small magnets – and it likes to fall off. I added a stud to the top of the arm that fitted a little bit extra tightly, after which minimize a gap in it to carry a brief M4 bolt and provides the magnet one thing to carry on to. The ultimate result’s a lot safer than the manufacturing facility mount.
So, there it’s – a easy 3D printed multi digital camera mount, but it surely tidied up the highest of my PC, moved all my cameras a little bit nearer to the place I wished them, and holds them extra securely than their unique mounts did. I discover 3D printing fascinating in its personal proper, but it surely’s genuinely sensible too. I’ve spent years bodging issues collectively out of no matter I had mendacity round. Now, because of my 3D printer, I can do quite a bit higher.