I wanted to make a auto-shutter for my camera, maybe it’s useful when shooting stop motion or drawing light painting at night. Although I know that the structure must be a big challenge, I think I will gather a lot of experience during the experience. So I keep on going with the idea.

Thinking of the servo is rotate approximately 180 degrees, while the movement of pressing a shutter button has to be up and down, so I searched some mechanical principle diagrams on line. Finally this picture gave me the inspiration:


Firstly, I bought these two pieces for fixing the camera on Amazon:

Cold Shoe Mount with 1/4-20 Hole for Blackmagic Cinema Cameras

Camera Hot Shoe Mount to 1/4″-20 Tripod Screw Adapter


and this Micro servo on Adafruit


Secondly, I made a 3D modeling by Rhino, which helped me to finger out the structure and the distance between each part. During the process, this


Thirdly, made the AI file for laser cutter, in which I got the enclosure files on the website.


Fourthly, I used laser cutter to cut a cardboard to make sure I masured correctly.



Finally, I choosed two colors’ acrylic to make the device: one is for the enclosure of Arduino and battery; the other is for the moving part–the lever structure.



The camera’s cold shoe was mounted on the acrylic lid by a machine screw and a washer. The washer is used for spread the pressure. Without it, the acrylic may be destroyed.img_8978The servo was fixed by two rectangle holes. One is at the bottom, the other is on the lid. Then the rotation part was stuck in a hole on the right side. In order to hold the servo more steady, I etched the shape of the servo on the surface of the acrylic, so part of the servo can also stuck in the acrylic board. When I put the servo in the box, there were no space for the wires of the servo. So I had to etch another groove on the lid. At first, I measured the length of the sevo by a mistake, so I etched several times, which result in I cut through some part of the acrylic.




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So here is the finished auto-shutter device. img_8860

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I wrote a program for Arduino, which let the servo to rotate half a circle and stop for a while, then rotate back. So the shutter can be pushed by the device automatically. I can also write a program to press the shutter for a long time, then I can have a long time exposure for light painting.

Here is the code for Arduino: