This is a timelapse movie of a CNC machine in action. The part being machined is an engine mount for a model steam engine I am building. Because this machine has no coolant capability the feedrates are slow, so the part took about 90 minutes to cut. I wanted to record the process, so I made a timelapse movie. My camera has an intervalometer built in to the firmware, but if yours doesn’t you can use LadyAda’s great tutorial to build one of your own.
Here are a few tips about shooting timelapse sequences:
- Most cameras display a photo on the LCD right after you take it — turn this off — it’s just going to drain your battery.
- If you’re shooting something that moves, make sure you have enough depth of field to keep moving things in focus.
- Prefocus the camera and then turn autofocus off.
- Set your interval appropriately — a good rule of thumb is “total number of seconds” / 1000. So, if your total duration is 60 minutes, a good starting interval would be 4 (rounded up from 3.6) seconds.
- Use virtualdub to sequence the images into a movie and then convert to a video file — it’s simple and it’s free.
- Timelapse is a neat artform with lots of room to play — have fun!
Here’s the g-code for the CNC so you can play along at home.