Gen 2 Photo Booth – Designing the Stand

After doing the initial measurements I decided that I wanted the booth to be adjustable and sit somewhere around chest height for the average user. This would be a standup booth when necessary and adjustable to a sit down booth. We spent a good $300 to buy the material to build it, but there were still many risks. Would it be strong enough? Would it be light enough? Would the slide rail even work? We already tried to build this with draw slides and it failed miserably. Hopefully we didn’t just waste our money.

 

 Parts Came In

We bought a who set of misc 80/20 parts. First impression was wow. This stuff is sturdy.

Here is a picture of the slide rail system. The slide mechanism rides on plastic and it has a very nice adjustable handle that locks the slide in place. It definitely feels strong but there is a bit of wobble in the slide mechanism. That’s a bad sign because we are using two of these. If one wobbles at 1 deg together it will be 2 degrees. It may not sound like a lot but the slide system is 4 feet long. At that distance the booth could wobble 2 inches back and forth.

 

Continuous Force Springs

We knew the box housing the camera and the slide rails will have some weight. To make it feel feather like we added some continuous force springs (metal curled up thing). We did some calculations and found springs that would equal the force of gravity exerted by the mass of the booth. We took some material to a band saw and used some bearings to install it. This spring exerts 10 lbs of force no matter how far it is stretched. We are operating it in danger mode without a load. 😉 While the stand doesn’t have any weight this spring is like a crossbow.

 The Stand

Ready for action. We machined a few more adapter plates and now we have a 4 foot photo booth stand. The base is narrow but the weight helps keep it balanced.

Here is a nice shot of the stand from the back. You will notice we changed the handle that locks the booth height to a knob. The handle was too bulky and uneasy to reach when the unit was assembled.

 

Summary

So now that the stand is done, it’s time for us to figure out how to attach a camera to this. The 80/20 material was easy to cut with a miter saw and a standard bandsaw. Even though it is aluminum it is extremely heavy and costly. Despite this it is still a very solution because you can beat it with a bat and it would never move or dent.



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