i am building an automated camera crane.
I need guidance to plan a CNC Like program where I can manually move the camera on the end of the boom and record the movement to the computer. I then I want to play it back.
That way the camera moves in a very smooth way, each and every time.
This machine is balanced and is large, not a desk toy. Max reach up is about 12 ft.
I am making my own because,the one I am using as a model cost $625,000 LOL
I don’t have that kind of money.
The base is steel. All of the crane parts will be all aluminum. There is a sliding counterweight to keep everything balanced.
Most DIY CNC routers can be made for a few thousand dollars. This machine does not need the precision of a CNC router.
I'd have no guess the type of hardware & software required to read the movements of the cam and record them, but it's really a bit out of the realm of traditional CNC processes which most folks here work with. Generating the code to make the camera "move" where, how and and at what speeds you want is fairly simple, but this project sounds pretty specialized.
I would look at Linuxcnc . Though it is a CNC controller it is capable of doing nearly any sort of motion control. I have never seen it used for your application I do remember an impressive rig made by an Italian fellow who used it to control suspended volleyball players in the air.
The folks on the Linuxcnc mailing list and the forum have always been helpful to guys doing unusual projects. Check it out: LinuxCNC.org
I'm not a CNC guy by trade but I am a controls engineer. I can help on the electrical and control side of this project. if I knew some of your weights of your arms I can give better advise, but. here it goes... This may be over kill... but a 1/4hp single phase motor on each axis, with a single phase VFD for each motor. you can wire x and y axis inputs on the VFD to a joystick fwd and back is x and right left is y, or visa versa. then you have an lever for your z axis. you can wire these analog devises stright to your vfd analog input. then for your speed control you can use dials if you will change them often or you can set the speed in the VFD if you never want to change it. I admit this may be bigger then you need, but then my daily job has me controlling 40K to 20M lbs.
How many torque oz is 1/4 hp? I am think of using stepper motors conected to a CNC controller so I can "teach the arm to move" and then play it back.
The max weight would be 10- 15 pounds on the x axis There is a balance weight on top that runs along the track to keep the x axis (long arm) in balance.
As the arm extends, the weight moves to keep everything in balance. Since the x axis is a long extendable arm it will need a motor to move it to pivot. If it is balanced (pretty close) the motor will not have to be too large. if it is timing belt geared it should move when I take control. what i need is" HOW TO TEACH THE MACHINE TO RECORD" And then replay many times. I will teach the camera how to pan the shot. the computer will then do it perfectly....every time!
I think mach3 will do that.
Thank you for your help.
oh yeah i was thinking a lot bigger... sorry... you could use mach3 and step up to one of the large NEMA 34 steppers. might have to use a planetary gear reducer. the gear ratio will let you move more weight, but at a reduced speed.