The obvious choice would be to go online and buy a big boy auto rail, but they’re crazy overkill, expensive as hell, and that’s just too easy. So I thought about what my options would be at home, and I realized: I have just taken apart a few desktop computers for parts and I had a stepper motor and platter from a dvd drive laying around! That should be perfect for the task.
Moving the weight of a full camera plus extra gear would be difficult to do at minute distances without using a strong motor and good pully/gear system. So I decided to move the subject instead. You could make the point that the light conditions would be changing from shot to shot, but the subject is so small, and the light is so broad and full, that I don't think it will matter.
Ok, so, if I’m going to make my own autorail, what other features would be awesome? I think a stage light (which should also be good for adding colored flair to shots), an IR camera remote, of course, an OLED display, a rotary encoder for input, and a usb plug for power.
All of this together would hugely improve my process and quality.