Close-up camera

A project log for "Desk Accessory" CNC Milling Machine

Lots of "Desktop CNC" machines can fit on a desktop. But do they fit _on_your_desk_? Like, between the stapler & paper tray?

paul-mcclayPaul McClay 02/19/2024 at 07:250 Comments

milling this

While cutting little parts with tiny bits, it's hard to see/photograph what's really happening from outside the enclosure. Running with the enclosure open isn't my favorite thing. Some macro camera options look like they might fit but awkwardly at best. And cost.

This looks like it should work:

close up view from far away -- retire the safety squints

That's a "USB Digital Microscope, Teslong 10X to 200X Magnification Camera with Stand, Portable Handheld Electronic Coin Magnifier, Soldering Camera Ear Otoscope", as currently listed on Amazon (meh: price up since I bought last October (yes - it's been parked and burning a hole in my to-do anxieties for four months)).

seller's pic

The jointed arm comprises a double-ended clamp and two 10mm balls. The base appears to be molded as a unit so that ball stays there. Since my people revere a tradition of eclectic units, we keep no metric size threaded balls in this land. However, we also revere a tradition of securing parts of our ceiling light fixtures with ball cap nuts a little bigger than a barley grain (3/8 inch) and those are close enough to the right size. Barely. But not really. After I got tired of trying to not bump the not-so-tightly clamped arm, I stuck a fiber washer in there too which conforms and gives a better hold.

3/8" ball = ok; 3/8" ball + fiber washer = more ok; 10mm ball wins if you've got  one
3/8" ball = ok; 3/8" ball + fiber washer = more ok; 10mm ball wins if you've got on

update Apr '24:

At first I thought keeping the camera-stick "out of the way" seemed like a good idea.

Dealing with the large rotation between camera and naked eye views proved harder (slower & more disruptive) than I wanted to deal with. After some fiddling -- the base ball was on a small scrap that I could move around -- I moved the camera mount and added the side-viewing mirror accessory that came with the camera in order to get 1) a camera view less distractingly different from naked eye view, and 2) a camera+mount position inside the closed-up volume of the box so it doesn't have to be completely re-positioned to use the camera or to close up after using the camera.