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I’m continually blown away with Steve Hoefer’s work. Check out his documentation camera dolly (complete with instructions):

I know a lot of people who make lots of stuff. They even take the time to share as much as they can about their process. But documenting everything is a pain. It takes time away from the actual doing of the project. And even if you aren’t documenting to share with the world, documenting for yourself is incredibly valuable.

And let’s say you’re trying to show someone how to do something. Cook, solder, crochet, play chess… most anything with your hands. Wouldn’t it be handy to have a camera above your work, just like they have on those fancy TV shows? Yes, it turns out it would. And it also turns out to be pretty easy to make.

This overhead camera dolly holds a camera pointing straight down onto your work surface and it lets you easily move it both side-to-side and toward and away from you so it can focus on any part of your workspace.

Use it for instructional videos, live demos, time lapse videos or film your own cooking show!

• It’s cheap—I built the whole thing for less than $30.
• It’s simple to build. It only take a few common tools and a few hours.
• It’s easily customizable to the size and needs of your workspace.
• It’s versatile. It works with just about any kind of camera from a webcam or cameraphone up to a professional DSLR.
• It’s modular and can be set up and torn down quickly and easily if you want to use it at an event.


Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern ( is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).