DIY Steadicam Merlin using a welder and about $50 of materials

I had a DSLR with HD video capability and a friend Andrew with a welder in his garage who was willing to teach (I’d never welded before). We decided making a steadicam would be a good project. ¬†While doing research, I found¬†this Merlin-style steadicam build tutorial. We tried to make a cleaner version of this already great build while trying to keep it cheap (materials and costs are listed at the bottom).

Finished steadicam

Here are some shots I took while practicing with the steadicam:

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Two-disk Hypotrochoid Generator in Python

After picking up a little spirograph kit at the dollar store and playing around with it for a while, I wondered what it would be like if a second disk could rotate around the first disk. This not being physically possible, I decided it’d be a good time to practice my Python as well. After a couple evenings of fiddling, I was able to come up with some nice-looking images using just the math library and Python Imaging Libary.

Here’s the first image that was successfully generated. I stopped drawing prematurely so there are gaps, and the simulated disk was actually rotating the opposite way than a physical spirograph disk would.

hypotrochoid 1

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