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8 axis stage (images added) WAS:A (very dirty) bee panorama
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 1296

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:25 am    Post subject: 8 axis stage (images added) WAS:A (very dirty) bee panorama Reply with quote

I discovered this poor deceased bee laying on a windowsill. I don't know how long it was there, but it certainly appears to be a dust magnet Smile


Camera: Olympus e330
Lens: El Nikkor 50mm f/2.8 @ f/5.6
Lighting: LED
Magnification: Slightly over 1X
Images: 550
Matrix: 2 columns X 3 rows
Size: 24 megapixels
Stacker: Zerene Stacker
Stitcher: Microsoft ICE
Larger image: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v649/etfrench/BeePMax3111-3663_ice.jpg

The real reason for taking the picture was this was the first trial run of my new 8-axis universal stage prototype:



Can you find all 8 axes?


Last edited by elf on Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
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Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wicked - looks like you've cut up some big-end shells!

Three green axes of blue rotation,
two red slidey things
then either three regular orange axes XYZ,
or does each green axis adjust along its length?
Have I missed any? Time? Charm? Angular momentum?



I want one.
Actually I want three, different sizes. Very Happy

Anodized and with programmable radio controlled servo motors on each so I don't have to touch it, please. Would that be extra?
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR wrote:
Wicked - looks like you've cut up some big-end shells!

Three green axes of blue rotation,
two red slidey things
then either three regular orange axes XYZ,
or does each green axis adjust along its length?
Have I missed any? Time? Charm? Angular momentum?


Almost Smile The universal stage is mounted on an XYZ stage, so I'm not counting those. The red and blue arrows are correct, the green arrows (except for the one at the bee) are wrong. If I had shot this a little lower, you would have been able to better see the ball joint which has 3 degrees of freedom (or 3 axes). Between the ball joint and the subject is a threaded rod, so that green arrow is correct.

ChrisR wrote:

I want one.
Actually I want three, different sizes. Very Happy

Anodized and with programmable radio controlled servo motors on each so I don't have to touch it, please. Would that be extra?


Anodizing wouldn't work too well since it's mostly steel Smile The manual version costs much less to make than the price of a used 5-axis universal stage ($4500)
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johan



Joined: 06 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool! I have one of these standing right in front of me as we speak for the same purpose, ordered a few weeks ago, to make into the same sort of thing when I got time:



It's a gimbal mount for a lamp on a yacht. I think that I can replace the existing screws and bolts in the thing, drill a hole or two, cut a few bits off here and there and have something that allows all sorts of rotations yet focus in the same place (if "thing" at the very centre).
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you tighten the ball? Smile
You can anodize stainless steel, any colour you like. It might be working on the chromium and filling the holes with dye, I can't remember now! (Chrome plating is porous, surprisingly).

Johan - mine's cheaper:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=50234#50234
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dbur



Joined: 16 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So how about the camera mount? Is that set up to rotate around the nodal point?
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johan wrote:
Cool! I have one of these standing right in front of me as we speak for the same purpose, ordered a few weeks ago, to make into the same sort of thing when I got time:

It's a gimbal mount for a lamp on a yacht. I think that I can replace the existing screws and bolts in the thing, drill a hole or two, cut a few bits off here and there and have something that allows all sorts of rotations yet focus in the same place (if "thing" at the very centre).


It should work fine. One thing I discovered on my first try with this, full rings really limit the amount of movement you can do. They kept running into the lens Sad

ChrisR wrote:
How do you tighten the ball? Smile
You can anodize stainless steel, any colour you like. It might be working on the chromium and filling the holes with dye, I can't remember now! (Chrome plating is porous, surprisingly).

Johan - mine's cheaper:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=50234#50234


Everything is held together with magnets. It took quite a bit of experimenting to find the right size magnet for each joint so that it was easy to position, but still held the subject solidly in place.

I've been thinking about using Kasenite to harden the rings. It also will theoretically give them a dull grey color. Powder coating may also be a good option, but I don't know what its wear charactistics are. Anodizing at home just has too many hazardous chemicals to deal with to make it a viable option.

dbur wrote:
So how about the camera mount? Is that set up to rotate around the nodal point?


Yes, the camera/lens is designed to rotate around the entrance pupil. Here's an earlier thread that shows the setup. The 8 axis stage sits in the same spot as the vase in the first image in the thread.
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Craig Gerard



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

elf,

Excellent work Smile

I only read this thread for the first time today as the title was shadowing the multiple axis gizmo.

Keep us updated.


Craig
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clever device!

I can't help noting that position and orientation of the subject is uniquely identified by X, Y, Z, pitch, roll, and yaw --- only 6 parameters versus the 11 degrees of freedom provided by this gizmo plus the XYZ stage it's mounted on. Have you used the device enough yet to know how much help the extra degrees of freedom provide, or did they just come "for free" as part of the design?

--Rik
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johan



Joined: 06 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

elf wrote:
It should work fine. One thing I discovered on my first try with this, full rings really limit the amount of movement you can do. They kept running into the lens Sad


Yes, I already had in my mind a final shape, after cutting away, the same as yours. The rotating assembly directly below the bee, can I ask, what parts did you use for that? Do those, and the plastic bits, have a specific name that I can use to google and source them online? Googling "plastic sliding thingie" or "rotation widget" doesn't get me all that far =)

Thank you very much

Edited: found it I think. Spacer or bush, with a groove cut into it, cheap as chips on ebay. Now to find a small rotater thingie.
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Last edited by johan on Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a first try at darkening the surface, "gun blue" seems to do a pretty good job. I just found a product called "Sight Black" which claims to leave a dull finish.

I keep thinking of Panoramic Tripod Heads, which of course allow rotation around a fixed point. eg here. I don't have one.
For holding larger subjects, they appear to be potentially useful.

For holding the camera with a low profile macro rail aboard, they look as though it should be possible to do macro panoramas. You must have tried a few Ed? Is there a best type? About where do the limits come, before they won't do the job, for which you made your intriguing camera-positioning animal?
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:
Clever device!

I can't help noting that position and orientation of the subject is uniquely identified by X, Y, Z, pitch, roll, and yaw --- only 6 parameters versus the 11 degrees of freedom provided by this gizmo plus the XYZ stage it's mounted on. Have you used the device enough yet to know how much help the extra degrees of freedom provide, or did they just come "for free" as part of the design?

--Rik


I really haven't used it very much actually taking pictures, but the X, Y, Z axes of the main stage are just used to get the rotation point aligned to the axis through the lens. The 4 axes at the ball joint are primarily used to get the subject centered at the rotation point, but at lower magnifications they can also be used for orientating the subject. At higher magnifications, I think only the other 4 axes would be used for subject orientation.

johan wrote:
The rotating assembly directly below the bee, can I ask, what parts did you use for that? Do those, and the plastic bits, have a specific name that I can use to google and source them online? Googling "plastic sliding thingie" or "rotation widget" doesn't get me all that far =)

Thank you very much

Edited: found it I think. Spacer or bush, with a groove cut into it, cheap as chips on ebay. Now to find a small rotater thingie.


I think 'plastic sliding thingie' will be the official name for them Smile I don't know if you will be able to find something suitable. I machined these from a Delrin rod. Delrin is easy to machine and you can use normal woodworking tools on it. The needle assembly is from a syringe. It takes up a little too much space, so for this size insect, it's not possible to keep it out of the picture. It will probably work well on a mosquito sized insect. Perhaps a cork with a regular insect pin would be better than the syringe.

ChrisR wrote:
For a first try at darkening the surface, "gun blue" seems to do a pretty good job. I just found a product called "Sight Black" which claims to leave a dull finish.


That's definitely another option. I think it will be easy to add a ping pong ball diffuser or holders for other backgrounds as well.

ChrisR wrote:

I keep thinking of Panoramic Tripod Heads, which of course allow rotation around a fixed point. eg here. I don't have one.
For holding larger subjects, they appear to be potentially useful.

For holding the camera with a low profile macro rail aboard, they look as though it should be possible to do macro panoramas. You must have tried a few Ed? Is there a best type? About where do the limits come, before they won't do the job, for which you made your intriguing camera-positioning animal?


The lens has to remain stationary, so changing the focus needs to be done by moving the camera. This means, you'll need a bellows unit as well as the macro rail. I don't know if any of the sub $500 pano heads would be able to support (or be rigid enough for) a StackShot plus bellows setup. Even the StackShot isn't designed for just moving the camera side of a bellows unit, although it probably wouldn't be that hard to make a custom mount on the StackShot to do this.

My first pano head made from aluminum extrusions used a 1"x1" extrusion. This was ok for landscape work where I was only taking 30 to 50 shots. It was much too flexible for macro work. The current macro setup uses a 1.5"x3" extrusion, which seems to be rigid enough even with all of the cantilevers.
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johan



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Delrin rod - thank you elf
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elf



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a few more shots of it. These images show the stage with longer ring segments that allow even more adjustments but they also tend to run into the lens more often.





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johan



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR wrote:
?... and with programmable radio controlled servo motors on each so I don't have to touch it, please. Would that be extra?


I know you said this somewhat in jest Chris, but I'm atually starting to look seriously at this as an option for just one of the axis - the innermost one which needs to rotate (ie to rotate the needle that that specimen is mounted on). Sadly I know nothing about motors or electronics, I could sure use a little help from someone who has knowledge of these, especially very small stepper motors.

It's interesting that you've got 2 rings with sliders, whereas the boat thing I intend to repurpose has 3. I'm still trying to work out the advantage of each, I think on the boat things I can achieve the same positions and angle of view even cutting away all but the 1/4 rings that I actually need to do so, although on the downside there is also a bit more potential for the reaining ring parts to get in the way. Fun challenge though.
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