Heavy Duty Camera Arm

The flexible camera arm finally broke so I had to make a heavy duty camera arm. In truth, I ordered a camera arm from Amazon. It never arrived, being returned to the depot due to damage in transport. Thus the inspiration I needed to design my own heavy duty camera arm. This will enable me hopefully to make even more youtube videos.

The heavy duty camera arm is enhanced by the PolarDuck Mini Tripod. Some of the parts from this mini tripod give me a lot of flexibility with both camera support systems.

Design Inspiration

flexible arm desk lamp

Inspiration for this design comes from the simple flexible arm desk lamp.

These desk lamp arms are designed to be spring balanced. However, how many of us have had these arms and after a while they are sadly resting the lamp shade on the desk?

My idea was to replace the springs with braces that could be locked across the parallel arms and hence fix the location.

I simply scaled this arm up in size. The tubes were U-section aluminium (15mm deep and 10mm wide) with block spacers at the pivot and locking points.

The Joints

camera arm base pivot and mount

The base uses a G-clamp (green) that has been drilled 8mm to accept the pin. This pin allows the arm to rotate.

The pin has a circumferential indent that allows it to be captured by a grub screw. This then allows the arm to hand upside down.

The pin was machined from mild steel. Flats were machined on the upper part of the pin. The lower parallel arm plates were bolted to this 10mm wide flat pin section. 3 off M4 bolts and nuts were used to secure this joint.

The parallel arm ends locate on this plate that is at 45° to the pin axis. These pivot points are 58mm apart. Again fixed with M4 bolts.

heavy duty camera arm mid joint

The parallel arm mid point joint is very simple. Consisting of 4 connection points for the parallel arms. A simple 60° trapezoid. With the pivots for the parallel arms at 58mm centres.

All of these joints were made using 1.5mm thick aluminium plate. All of the bolts are M4 capheads.

camera arm end joint and camera mount

The camera arm end joint and camera mount. A very simple 60° equilateral triangle. The centres of the pivots are 48mm apart.

This means the upper arms are not parallel. 

At the end is a brass spigot that has a 1/4″ x 20tpi UNC thread for a camera mount. A knurled locking nut ensures you can get the camera in the correct orientation.

Hidden in the joint and on the other end of the brass spigot is an arc of holes that allow the camera to be tilted and then locked with a split pin. Giving a great level of flexibility.

Arms

The 4 arms are all the same length of 500mm and 480mm between centres. I used aluminium U-section that was 10mm wide and 15mm deep. A box section would be just as good if not better.

Hopefully the following video will fill in all of the other information for you on this heavy duty camera arm design.


polar duck mini tripod and camera

PolarDuck Mini Tripod

A really small and lightweight camera tripod. Comes with a ball joint, GoPro attachment and a mobile phone clamp.

A great cheap tripod for vlogging and general photography.

double wing nuts
Double Wing Nuts allow the brackets to be locked and unlocked easily.

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