XY Camera Mount?


Would anyone be willing to help me turn the ZenXY into a XY (X left right, Y up down) camera dolly?
Or something similar to the xy.

I need it to be able to accept either a websocket connection for co-ordinate or a command line input, I plan to have it remote controllable (It’s for my fish tank)

If anyone wants to work on this let me know,



This is hard for me to put into a vision. Do you have a drawing of something, (or a picture) of what you are trying to accomplish?

The ZenXY is a corexy machine. If you run it on a fluidnc compatible board, that’s not much work. There are buttons on the web UI for moving left, right, up, down. Any path planning is possible. It would also be possible to set up some macros for common things like moving to a particular location

The physical parts would need to be edited. The middle gantry piece especially. It has a magnet on the top and it sounds like you want a camera on the bottom. Go ahead and print that part and see if you can find a way to make it work. Either by redrawing it, editing it, or just gluing/screwing something onto it.

There are a million other choices for firmware on the board if you want to really dive deep. But I imagine it makes the most sense to stick with fluidnc.

There isn’t any mechanism to do any rotation or depth in the ZenXY. Do you plan on keeping the camera submerged? I would guess the top of the water would make the camera view pretty useless.

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I’ll sketch in a bit.

It’s outside of the glass. X is along the length of the tank, Y was going to be up / down.

I’ve seen a few solutions to this but I have some MPCNC stuff printed, I like the community, I really like the rail / emt design and wanted to leverage that.

So all i am seeing is a xy movement, but for a camera that does not seem like enough, but i guess it all depends on what you are trying to achieve!

I’m trying to achieve a camera that is controllable via OBS / External programs that viewers can move around.

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Ohhh ok, that would work!!!

What would it point at?

My fish.


This is really neat. Putting it on the front, for streaming makes a ton more sense. I think you have a couple of engineering problems you need to solve. I don’t know much about your streaming/user problems/solutions.

  1. You need to move the gantry in X, Y. The ZenXY was designed for hanging under a table. Gravity was known during the design. That said, it’s probably fine to use in this case and it isn’t an enormous investment to try it. If you spend the money and time and it isn’t perfect, it was probably worth the investment to learn what you need. I would suggest buying a chunk of plywood and start printing the parts so you can see how it works IRL. You’ll learn a lot this way.
  2. You need to attach the camera to the gantry. This might be easy. Or require an entirely new design. This could be a thread on its own. I am betting there is a way to physically attach a new mount to the existing gantry.
  3. You need something that can control the machine and connect to the LAN/WIFI. FluidNC is a firmware that runs on the jackpot, or the 2 axis plotter board from Dart Bring. It provides a couple of ways to control it over wifi. a) The WebUI, but it will give enough control to the user to break things. b) Telnet to send gcode. You can use another computer to send gcode over telnet. This could be a script (using expect) or a python script. The FluidNC will convert X and Y to motor commands, handle accelerations, and respect machine limits. You can add macros for going to a specific location (like looking into a cave, or checking the filter).
  4. You need something that a user can push buttons on that will end up sending commands to the webUI. I suspect this needs to be custom component unless twitch streamers have some kind of tool that makes this easier. I’m assuming this is OBS. But I don’t know what OBS can do. I suspect the fastest path (if you knew all the tools) would be to run a raspberry pi to connect to fluidnc over telnet and listen for OBS commands.
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you know if it needs to be alot of work, the mpcnc may work too!

Just a slimmed down core!

I can handle 3/4 already mostly. If the arduino or raspi uses something that can accept a command prompt input or http request / json string. Thats where I know some of you are very handy as well.

The hardware doesnt have to be zenxy just thought it kind of looked the closest to what I was needing unless others have an opinion.

I need a driven x with a dummy x for stability and then a driven y/z (however you want to slice it)

Bonus would be hooking up a z eventually for zoom or focus control of the camera but thats not the focus right now.

I was also thinking something like a hanging cnc / maslowcnc would be good as well but it would have a hard time getting into the corners as I would want the steppers mounted inside the top window well to reduce clutter.

I don’t know if anyone has any suggestions im open both hardware and software.

Personally, I would just go for the ZenXY. I would at least print the core and see if I could mount a camera to it. If it isn’t perfect, it is close and the parts you’d have to buy are similar for any machine.

FluidNC will work over serial or wirelessly. So controlling it via a pi/bash is pretty easy. Some sinple gcode like G1 is all you’d need.

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