Motion-Controlled Razor Crest: An ILM Inspired Project

After a long while of switching between my CAD model and my reference images, I feel pretty comfortable sharing Version 1 of the Motion-Controlled Miniature Rig!

Much like Version 1 of the Motion-Controlled Camera Rig, the goal of this project is to make it hobbyist friendly, where the parts are sourced from 3-4 sellers. For this particular rig, I opted for the 80/20 30 series framing. Given the bulkiness of this rig, I think that using the 30 series was a good choice. Now, the screw choices are M3, M5, M6 & M8. You will find that some of the M3 & M5 screws are the same for the camera rig. This is to reduce the cost (even if by a little) and to be hardware efficient. Here are some images of the beginning to the end of Version 1:
Screenshot 2021-06-20 115606.png
Screenshot 2021-06-20 143002.png
Screenshot 2021-06-21 131412.png
Screenshot 2021-06-21 154741.png
Screenshot 2021-06-22 171749.png
Screenshot 2021-06-28 104816.png

As you might have noticed, I pivoted quickly from the 20 series to the 30 series.

The main piece that is most important to this build is the quarter circle rail. This particular rail in conjunction with the mechanism I CADed around it, is for the rocking mechanism. I feel pretty good with the yaw & miniature roll mechanisms as well. Much like John Knoll's rig, this recreation also has an easy way of adjusting its base height. Here is a quick video of the real rig versus my recreation:

With this CAD out of the way, I am going to focus on printing out and getting the camera rig working. Here are some images of my progress so far. I will note that some minor changes have been made, but nothing that visible:


I am very pleased with how progress is turning out, as I haven't run into many issues with the tolerances and strength of my parts. I've been printing at 25% infill with standard PLA for reference. At some point when I start digging into the electronics & coding, I might ask someone here or somewhere else to help me work on the code. I'm not too familiar with recording keyframes and such and I'd like some assistance.

I will keep you all informed on my next post on my progress. Until then, check out my website on my other projects like my full-scale, fully-functional BB-8:



  • Screenshot 2021-06-20 115606.png
    Screenshot 2021-06-20 115606.png
    1 MB · Views: 80
  • Screenshot 2021-06-20 143002.png
    Screenshot 2021-06-20 143002.png
    676.7 KB · Views: 75
  • Screenshot 2021-06-22 173917.png
    Screenshot 2021-06-22 173917.png
    611.5 KB · Views: 79
Given that my designs for the V1 camera & miniature rig are complete, I might be willing to have a beta-tester or two print and grab the parts for these designs and try them for themselves. A couple of things to note if you are interested:

1. DM me if you are
2. You are liable to your own purchases
3. These designs as indicated can/will be changed as time goes on, so it's your decision if you want to make purchases that reflect these version changes
4. I have not hooked up the electronics or programmed the rig yet, so if you do Beta-Test, I would like some help in these endeavors.
4a - The goal for the electronics & programming, much like what John Knoll & Co did, is to create a contained electronics system that's well organized and labelled. The programming will be based on creating key frames and recording them through a controller, much like the one John Knoll used
4b - These designs, as per your help, are also subject to change. So be aware that you might spend money across each version

With these things in mind, feel free to DM and I'd be happy to chat. If you have any concerns or things you would like to add to this list, please add them to your message.

As always, you can find my other work on my website:
Until my next update, here is a look at the camera rig fully assembled:
Last edited:
I've started to do research into the electronics and software for the camera and miniature rig. Because this rig utilizes CNC electronics, it would be more appropriate to approach this from that angle. So with some help & research, I believe I will need to control the six total axis with GRBL. There is an arduino mega shield for DRV8825 drivers, but that's only useful for Nema17s. I have a combination of Nema17 & 23s so I will have to find a way to get the shield to work with some beefier DM542T drivers for the 23s.
This build is above my skills/knowledge/pay grade. While I understand the general principals I'm in awe concerning the electronics/motors, etc, needed to make everything work! :cool: :cool: :notworthy::notworthy::notworthy::notworthy:
I wonder if one of those tiny trains you see at zoos would allow your rig on one…To Live and Die in LA style. I could see being chased by a similar craft but with some Soviet Hind-D bits added
It's been a while! I've made my transition to college at WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute in MA) as a Freshmen, and I've been slowly finding more free time.

To get you all updated, I found an awesome CNC controller called the GRBL-ESP32 6-Axis Universal Controller by Bart Dring. The Nema23s will use the Tranamic TMC 2130 drivers and the Nema17 will use the DRV8825 drivers. I did some basic tests through the wireless UI software and got some movement!

With the linear motor working, i've 3D printed the C-Beam endcaps to secure both ends of the GT2 Belt. I just took the STEP file of OpenBuilds C-beam endcap and added a small pocket for the belt to slip in:

I also recently grabbed another 1500mm C-beam rail, so now I have a total of 3m meters of track. Next step is to secure the rig on the rails, loop in the belts, and do a test run of the linear motor!

Hope you all enjoyed the update and I will talk to you all soon!
You're making a lot of progress on this, it's super cool. I doubt I have the means to build one of these anytime soon but I love how a motion control rig like this will be a game changer for amateur film production!
This build is above my skills/knowledge/pay grade. While I understand the general principals I'm in awe concerning the electronics/motors, etc, needed to make everything work! :cool: :cool: :notworthy::notworthy::notworthy::notworthy:

You and me, both! I've been looking into motion-control options out there as I want to experiment with this method myself. I'm a decent machinist now and after seeing the BTS of the sp/fx on the model, I entertained the idea of custom machining the parts like Knoll did himself. The wiring and programming just stumps me though.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

If you wish to reply despite these issues, check the box below before replying.
Be aware that malicious compliance may result in more severe penalties.