In a reminder that not every Kickstarter project is a blowout, last week the Arqball Spin project we've been keeping tabs on squeaked over the finish line, barely reaching its $40,000 target with mere hours to spare.
While I dig the technology, plan on using it and will pay whatever the service ends up costing, I wasn't sure the Arqball guys would hit their target. The $60 buy-in seemed kind of steep for the small turntable you'd get in return, particularly when the web is awash in DIY motorized turntable tutorials.
For example, here's one from a guy who kind of looks and sounds like Casey Affleck. He whipped his up for $25 and apparently did it while drinking a Sierra Nevada:
While I'd like to use Arqball's technology, the reason I didn't pledge for one of their turntables is because the objects I need to create Spins of—vintage sewing machines—weigh in excess of 30 pounds, and the Arqball turntable's cut-off is five pounds. If you're an ID student wanting to Spin something as heavy as a car clay model, you're in the same boat. So for those needing to DIY a turntable that can spin heavier stuff, here's a guy who whipped one up for about $40 using a rotisserie motor, a lazy Susan and some woodworking skills:
But the most impressive hack-up I've seen comes from the anonymous photographer behind the Cheesycam blog, who creates low-cost, DIY alternatives to expensive studio equipment. Said shooter needed to rotate an entire human being, up to several hundred pounds, and only had the small, lousy motor from a Ryobi cordless drill to do it. His ingenious creation uses mechanical advantage (and a cheap automotive hub bearing) to great effect: