Raspberry Pi spins precision movement stage for beautiful up-close microchip videos

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Robert Elder)

Some Raspberry Pi projects really excel when it comes to precision, and that's exactly what this project created by maker and developer Robert Elder is shooting for. Using our favorite SBC, he's working on a precision movement stage that can create precise and consistently slow rotations.

This project idea stems from a specific need that Elder developed while working on videos for his channel RobertElderSoftware. Sometimes, it's useful to highlight microchips on a macroscale, and this precision movement stage allows Elder to capture some really dynamic up-close shots of hardware.

Elder shared a detailed video explaining what components he's using and why he chose each particular piece. In this case, he's using a Raspberry Pi 3 B+, but instead of connecting it directly to the motor, it's connected to an Arduino. Elder explained that the idea was to create the project in a way that would be somewhat modular, which adds a degree of flexibility as he has multiple Arduino boards on hand.

In this project, the motor must be able to provide a full, continuous 360-degree rotation. The motor spins gears attached to belts that rotate the plate holding the microchip. Elder has situated a camera above this plate, allowing for an extremely close shot with the chip moving beneath.

It's worth noting, however, that this is still a work in progress. Elder explains in the video that more work is needed to optimize it for his workflow. There is still a degree of shakiness in the construction, which is noticeable in the demo video. That said, it's still really impressive and an interesting use case for the Raspberry Pi.

If you'd like to see this Raspberry Pi project in action, you can check out the video shared at Elder's official YouTube channel, RobertElderSoftware. Be sure to follow him for more cool projects, as well as any future updates on this one.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.