After much searching in regards to building motion control rigs, I found this site and message board.

I'm slightly overwhelmed by the information but I'm hoping that I can get some help from yourselves.

As I mentioned in my introductory post, I'm currently in the process of setting up a post company.  It's taking a while, but I want to have a motion control setup suitable for shooting elements for set extensions and models.

It will be a motorised tracked system with a boom, and a head with 6 axes.  Attached to a synchronised model mount.

I have the design ideas, but I need help with yer actual designing and finessing.

It also has to be able to support heavy cameras.  I was thinking of either the Ursa Mini Pro 12K or the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K.

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Hi Julian, and welcome!

I have designed and constructed a couple of moco rigs, and am just in the throes of completing one which is made of 3D printable parts and some stock metal extrusions. It is exactly what you describe. 

What weight is the camera you propose to mount on the jib? Although my design is intended for a DSLR, there is no reason why a beefier version could not be made if necessary.

The first rigs I made took about 2 years to get right, and they have now been used on 6 or more productions, so they have had a good testing - and some improvements. I am just using the ARCmoco and Arduino combination from Dragonframe. Many people assume this will give realtime motion control, but other programmes are required for this. 

Anyway, do let me know what you are planning.

I meant to add... I am intending to make the 3D printer files available so others can make up the rig. But first it needs some testing!

Thank you!

The base weight of the Ursa 12K is, without lenses, 2.55kg.  900g for the Pocket 6K without lenses.

I want a rig that is strong, sturdy.  It will probably stay in one position.  with various sizes of blue and green screen for shooting against.  With a model mount that has 3 positions (Yaw, Pitch and Roll), and the vertical height can be adjusted but not motorised.  Which will be used for things like spacecraft flybys..  I would need this to be synchronous to the main rig.

The head on the main arm (2m long) will have 6 axes..  Yaw, Pitch, Pan, Tilt, Roll, and Focus.

Mainly used for shooting along a full sized set element for digital set extensions, and for shooting environmental set models, like elaborate city models.

A long motorised track too, I'd say 15-20 feet.

My cousin is an electronic engineer, builds his own model railway layouts and such, so I'm going to ask him to help me.

I'm mainly doing this because of what I saw about the model shooting for 'The Mandalorian'.  I want to try and explore the film-making that I remember from my youth.

I also saw that video of the Mandalorian. It was gratifying to see that, quite independently, they had opted for the same motors and bearings and much of the same solutions as myself. The only thing I was not so keen on is the 80/20 extrusions. The reason for this is that I am not confident they have sufficient bearing area for the loads, and I don't really like bearings on their sides.

With my first attempt at a rig I started with skateboard wheels, and quickly found that they developed a flat area at rest for even a short period, resulting in a bump as the dolly moved along the track. So I swapped them out for the hardest scooter wheels - same problem. Then I machined the rubber off the wheels, so I had metal to metal contact, and this works fine. The second, small rig uses bearings directly onto the metal track (tube in that case). And my latest has bearings onto aluminium square tubing on edge. I have designed it with 24 bearings in groups of 2, aiming for around 1kg max load on each.

It does sound like we are thinking along similar lines. My track is simply aluminium extrusion, which is available in 5m lengths, and I have designed the supports so that it can be any length desired. The limiting factor is likely the tension on the drive belt.

As I do not have an engineering workshop (except for a friend's),I am working to overcome the issues using plastic, but this has the advantage of the rig potentially being available to anyone with a 3D printer. At the moment I am using PETg, but could go for a higher spec (carbon-filled) if necessary. I mentioned the rig at Animarkt recently and got some very positive reaction and expressions of interest.

I will be able to post some photos, just as soon as I have something fit to be shown. I was literally doing a first tentative assembly (with a lot of bolts and bearings missing) yesterday evening when I saw your post! One end of the jib supported on a chair back... not what one wants to be shown in public!

My general approach to the rigs has been to address each issue as it arose, and I am reasonably confident now that I have all the elements sorted. The iterations took, as I may have mentioned, several years to arrive at a really reliable and workable unit. For the head I have made use as far as possible of commercially available camera gear, such as the Fotomate sliders and Arca Swiss L brackets.

Regarding your spec, please explain what Yaw and Pitch are... what I mean is how they differ from a combination of Tilt, Pan and Roll? Incidentally, Roll is the only axis I have not addressed, on the basis that it is fairly uncommon and could at a pinch be achieved by turning the camera 90 deg and using Tilt. 

An interesting new feature in Dragonframe 4.2 is the Virtual axis space, where the motors are controlled e.g. to do a straight path using a jib and track. I have not explored this yet, but it looks like a powerful tool.

I posted some pics of the Mk 1 camera head on a thread on this site called 'Bearings for Moco camera head'. 

Yaw is left to right movement

Pitch is up and down.

The problem I have in regards to Dragonframe is that it doesn’t support the cameras I want to use.

Pan is left to right, and tilt is up and down, what I was asking is what is the difference between them and yaw and pitch? I see them as just different names for the same thing, but perhaps I am missing something.

I have exchanged a few messages with a chap who works at ILM and he gave those terms for the model mount.  He used those terms 

I’m hoping I can set up a model mount that synchronises to the rig

I’ve got some sketches of my camera rig to refine. I’ll scan them and upload them here.

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