Add-ons: Light bar and camera boom

I’ve been working on a couple new add-ons for my machine. The ideas came from wanting to do more documenting of projects. Anyway, I figured I would go ahead and share a few images of the (mostly) completed state in case I might be able to spark inspiration elsewhere.

The first is a new light bar. It’s a pretty simple design. I needed something that was short enough it would not interfere with my garage door coming down — it only took 3 tries…doh — but would allow me to have a good light source when the garage door is open. Otherwise, when the door is up, it blocks out all the ceiling lights in this area. This will provide much better consistency.

Also, I constructed a camera boom from 3D printed parts, 1" OD stainless tubing, and a couple 1/8" steel parts off the plasma cutter. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing with this, but I think it turned out pretty well. The 1/8" steel brace around the top of the spindle was added to prevent lateral sway, and it works — go figure.

Video is being managed by a GoPro and a couple of cube lights.

And charging had to be on-site. I wasn’t dragging these things in and out every time I wanted to use them.

And before someone asks, YES, the air nozzle does work to keep dust from flying out the front of the dust shoe where there are no bristles — really well, actually. I’m as surprised as you are, but this project would have been dead in the water otherwise, as I’m not willing to sacrifice dust collection for the sake of video, no matter how cool.

I will try to get a proper video in the next week (from the new boom, of course). If you have any questions, let me know. And thanks for looking!


Looks to be a very functional setup - thank you for taking the time to share it. I really am looking forward to seeing the videos that you are now able to produce. Filming is one of my planned next (next?) projects, and I appreciate seeing how others are finding workable solutions.


There is still a lot of work to do. I need to determine the best camera and lighting angles, video settings, air nozzle position and flow rate, and so on. I will probably end up shortening the boom a little to get the best range of camera zoom settings, but it’s very much a learning process and I figured it was easier to shorten the tubes if needed than to make them longer.

The dust shoe attachment is still a work in progress, but I’m not displeased with the results. It will spit out a few crumbs here and there, but 99%+ of the material ends up in the dust bin, including the smallest particles which are the biggest concern. I’m also playing with different types and lengths of bristles. It looks like I may need some stronger magnets as the attachment can be seen tilting when moving across the surface, but it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.

The short clip below is not one of my own designs. It’s from a spray can rack I purchased on Etsy that I’m making from 1/2" poplar ply. But it’s a good test of dust collection. I tried to attenuate the audio, but YouTube seems to want to do its own thing. I may try backing the spindle speed off a bit on the next one.


Very nice setup! I’m impressed with the lack of vibration in the video. I figured that blower nozzle would make a mess by blowing chips everywhere, but you’re right - seems to work extremely well!

Regarding the camera - I wonder if you could rig it in such a way to have two cameras - one wide angle down low (like you have currently) but maybe to the right a bit, and one up higher to the left and zoomed in for a detail shot. Watching the same video feed gets a little boring - but having two different angles keeps it more interesting.

1 Like

Thanks. I am happy with the boom and its sturdiness. The dual poles work together to prevent vertical sway. And the steel brace that wraps around the spindle to the other side of the Z-mount takes care of any horizontal sway.

I’d love to have another angle! Totally in agreement that one angle will get boring. The main consideration is that I want to keep the opening in the dust shoe small, which greatly limits the angle at which another camera can be placed — assuming being able to see the bit is a required criterion. Perhaps, I can turn the shoe opening slightly to one side and adjust the air nozzle accordingly, allowing for both front and 45° shots, or something to that effect. Great, now I need to purchase another camera…


Holy Steven Spielberg, that is amazing!

1 Like

hey Matt, nice setup. I hope one day to have as tidy of a shop and CNC platform as that.

Being my pessimistic self - just curious if you feel there is any extra torque placed on the machine with such a canitlever setup? There may not be as much weight as I’m thinking.

1 Like

Thanks much!

It is also a consideration of mine and something I plan to address more fully as this project progresses. One of the easiest items to address in the weight dept. are the stainless tubes — I had used these because I had them on hand, but I already ordered some 1" OD aluminum tubing to replace them. I may also convert the plasma-cut steel parts to aluminum down the road, but this was easiest for prototyping. And I have also considered adding a counterweight off the back of the machine, but I have not determined whether that is truly necessary yet and I hesitate to add more weight if it’s not needed. Once I get the camera(s?) set up and dialed in and know where everything is going to be permanently, the load should be mostly static.

EDIT: The aluminum tube arrived! I’d say that’s a bit of a difference…

1 Like

I am surprised you don’t get more vibration to the camera. Impressive.

Btw is the Lulzbot Green?

1 Like

Overture — Grass Green, PETG


I agree with the static load(outside heavy jerk times), and the aluminum is a great alternative.

Solid work and thought process!!

1 Like

Nice. I am more of Hatchbox guy myself but Overture is my backup choice.

I have completed the editing for my very first video montage of a brand-new project which should hopefully be ready tomorrow! I am definitely going to be looking for some feedback.

In the meantime, I wanted to go ahead and post some of the updates to the rig since the original posting.

  1. Replaced stainless steel tubes with aluminum tubes. Much lighter.

  1. Added LEDs inside the dust shoe to light up the router bit. It’s not the most beautiful from this angle with everything encased in CA glue, but it’s solid and doesn’t cake up with dust. Also, using an angled dust shoe now for most shots as I rarely need to utilize the whole table. This helps to get things out of the way for better video angles.

  1. Added a 2nd GoPro. With some experimenting, I was able to rig a 52mm +1 diopter lens to the close-up GoPro to get a nice [semi-]macro shot in good focus.

  1. And finally, I used steel cable and turnbuckles to pre-tension the updated mounting rig since it sticks out farther than before, allowing for the alternate angled shot. This helps to prevent shaking on the outside camera.

Thanks for looking.


Here’s the link to the first completed video montage, as promised.

I’m bringing this conversation back to the R&D thread…

Not surprisingly, you were right. My haste from the excitement seems to have gotten the better of me.

After some more thorough testing of the lenses I have on hand, it appears I am able to bump up the clarity by a significant factor with respect to focusing directly on the bit. The upper image represents the settings from the recent video. The lower image is the change.

The striations in both the collet nut and end mill are much more noticeable with the more aggressive macro lens. I anticipated the camera might be a bit too far away for this lens, but it seems to work well.

Additionally, it seems I will be picking up another 52mm lens adapter as the angled shot also appears to benefit from some tweaking with a macro bump.

I guess I should not be surprised as the GoPro is really a camera geared toward outdoor, wide-angle shots. But I expected the close range to be better based on the number of spindle-attached GoPro mounts I’ve seen available for CNC machines. Still, it seems with the right modifications that I may be able to get solid results from these cameras.


Would you mind providing some detail on the air setup? From the pictures it looks like a mist relay, but wondering if you’re using a pneumatic solenoid connected to the mist or just an IOT controller.

Thanks in advance! LOVE LOVE LOVE the setup, working on getting mine to the same state of coolness :slight_smile:


Thank you for the kind words.

As far as the air control, I’m afraid it’s nothing so fancy. I just have a manual ball valve off to the side of the machine. But this could certainly be automated.

I have been so busy with work and other unrelated projects that I have had little time for further upgrades lately. Also, after upgrading to the heavy-duty Z-axis, my old dust boots are no longer compatible and I have not gotten around to fashioning a new one for video purposes. I am just using the single compatible boot that I made from (at the time) incomplete PwnCNC v10 designs. The designs may be complete now, but I have not been keeping up. I hope to have an opportunity soon to get back into things with more frequency. What I really need is a great project idea that’s too good to pass up.

1 Like

Thanks for the reply. I’m a big-fan of low-tech, so a manual ball valve works just fine imho… keep up the good work, I’m hoping to get my shop cleaned up enough (and my elite foreman finally delivered) to video some of my work. It’s a lot of effort, which is why we haven’t done much until now, but seeing your setup inspired me to up my game, so thanks for that!