DIY Motorized IGUS Camera Slider

The IGUS linear guide rail has been one of the most popular off-the-shelf Rails used for DIY camera sliders. It's a solid build and fairly smooth slide and has been the foundation for other companies to 'rebrand' back into the Video market. One of the 'cons' of this slider is the lack of exact speed control when pushing or pulling manually. There's some friction with this type of slider which could be a good thing, but also could be a bad thing trying to control a very consistent move across the entire rail.

This time Vimeo member weelian soh attaches a basic DC high torque motor and a PWM controller (to control speed) from eBay to a DIY IGUS rail slider to achieve a consistent speed all the way across. A very nice DIY if you don't mind the amount of noise a DC motor can produce, and If you want to find out more, there's a ton of photos and information about his build following the link in the details here:

If you want to start building your own slider, IGUS has made it easy by providing a pretty much ready to go kit of rails and carrier. You'll just need to mount it to your tripod and drill a hole to add a fluid head.

find-price-button IGUS Slider and Carrier for DIY Camera Slider

4 thoughts on “DIY Motorized IGUS Camera Slider

  1. SkunkWorks

    Weelian, have you thought of replacing the pulley and cord with a toothed timing belt system? You won't have any slippage to deal with and the cost wouldn't be much more than what you bought and used. I just ordered a 900XL037 (90" .2 pitch 3/8" wide) timing belt from Polybelt in New Jersey for $7. They have the pulleys even in aluminum for around $10. You can also buy it open ended off the roll by the foot but that stuff isn't black. You can get the same stuff at a decent price as well from McMaster-Carr and Motion Industries. I can't get stuff from McMaster because they won't ship to Canada but I have a local Motion Industries and I have a way to get cheap shipping to me from Polybelt 😉

    I had to laugh when I saw you were using the same project box, pwm idea with reversing switch concept, indicator light and VRLA battery as what I'm throwing together right now on my Igus slider 😉

  2. Weelian

    Latest updates! I have bought new motors and concluded that the high torque 65 RPM motor gives the smoothest slow slides. Also bought a 5 RPM motor which enabled me to do timelapse photography using Magic Lantern's Interlavometer. Each slide is about 5 minutes which is about the slowest I can go. Slider is improved with 3 cord based drive system and with the pulleys re-aligned as close to the slider level as possible.

    Check out my updates here

    And see me making a fool out myself! Enjoy!

  3. weelian

    I have updated my drive system with 2 1.5mm nylon braided cord and re-aligned my pulleys to get the maximum grip. Since the cord is stretchable, I have to pull cords very hard to get proper tension on my slider which is 4 feet long. I also used 2 hose clamps to secure the motor this time. I found that the lower the pulleys are closer to the level of the slider, the better it performs.

    Here's the latest video shot with the improvements. Most if not all of the jitter is eliminated.

    This setup is relatively easy to disassemble and assemble in the field. A smaller 12v sealed lead acid battery will provide the power.

  4. SkunkWorks

    Dude, you're always one step ahead of me posting about stuff I'm currently testing and a day or two away from blogging about 😉 I just spent the past few days sourcing my parts to finish motorizing my Igus slider. My PWM speed controller (you'd want this type)... $16 and my 6ft length of acme threaded rod ($16) should both be here on Monday. I have my timing belts and pulleys already and DPDT switch which you can wire in a certain way to reverse the direction of your motor. As you know, I already have a crapload of high torque 12v DC motors I got from my local surplus store, they're used in automobile seats and window cranks (some of them even already have a lead screw coming out of them but they're unfortunately not long enough for my 1000mm slider). You saw in that other blog post a little while ago that I tested the concept with a string and spool type pulley and was happy and was now ready to take it to the next level... well, that's what I've been working on all week! The carriage will either be driven by...

    - a lead screw (3/8-12 acme threaded rod) with a faster car seat motor


    a 90 inch XL series toothed timing belt and pulleys driven by a slower window crank gear motor.

    With either method, the motor will be high torque and speed controlled (with the PWM) and direction reversible. The motor will be powered by one of those 12VDC VRLA batteries I blogged about here, or my 12VDC Ryobi cordless drill battery (the one you blogged about... thanks!).

    Will try both drive methods and see which one I like best... should have at least one of them put together early this coming week 😉

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