Slider Lapse for a camera

Slider-lapse adds the magic of movement to your time lapse photography. It works with a phone, Gopro, or compact camera.

About this project

We’ve created a product that can produce beautiful time lapse sequences at a fraction of the cost of even the cheapest time lapse sliders currently on the market. This allows people with low cost cameras to explore the fascinating world of timelapse.

Everything you need is included – the track, the motorized drive unit, and adapters for three types of camera.

NOTE: The prices shown in the rewards are in New Zealand dollars, but the approximate price in US dollars is shown underneath.

Works with Gopro, Phone, and Compact Camera

All rewards ship with an adapter for a Gopro, and for smartphones up to 3.3 inches wide. A compact camera is mounted directly using a standard 1/4″ thread (also supplied) without the need for an adapter. Works with any camera that has built in timelapse functionality and is under 300 grams.


We’ve simplified the design of the conventional slider by combining the drive train, and guide system into one unit, dramatically reducing manufacturing costs. All of the design features of this product are intended to achieve the desired function with the minimum cost.

No reverse setting is needed as the unit can be manually  turned around on the track. Two AAA batteries are used to power the drive unit.

The Slider Lapse is held to the aluminium track by three bearings on each arm in conjunction with the friction roller. The elastomeric spring provides the force necessary to keep the roller and bearings in contact with the track. The arm pivots about the arm axle relative to the drive unit.


A hinged clamping system makes it easy to mount and dismount the drive unit from the rail.


A three position switch is used to select either slow, fast or off. When the rail is horizontal, the slow speed is approximately 12mm/min, and the fast speed is 24mm/min. As the speed control is open loop there is a small reduction in speed when the track is used vertically or when the batteries are getting flat, but this has minimal effect on the quality of the final video.

You don’t need expensive stepper motors or servos to move a camera along a track. Slider Lapse uses a high ratio gear box (16384:1) with a DC motor, running at either 1.5V or 3V.  This gives you two speeds and smooth movement.


Adjustable legs allow the rail to sit securely on any ground.

The track is designed to allow the roller to free wheel when the drive unit reaches the end of the track without doing any damage.

A strip of grip material runs along the base of the track ensuring the friction roller has positive traction on the track even when it is positioned vertically.

Grip material on base of track
Grip material on base of track

The 40″ long track comes in two 20″ sections which can then be assembled together.  This allows for easy transportation.

40" track in two parts
40″ track in two parts


If the track is to be used on an angle or vertically, then a “Ball Mount” must be used between the drive unit and camera. This is available as an option in some of the rewards or it can be purchased in any camera shop (thread size 1/4 inch).

Track on an angle with ball mount
Track on an angle with ball mount

If the track is only going to be used on the level then the camera can be tilted by tilting the whole track about the legs. This simplifies the operation and eliminates the need for a ball mount.

Track level and tilted up without ball mount
Track level and tilted up without ball mount


The aluminium track can be replaced with any piece of 1″ square aluminium extrusion, available in most hardware stores. A strip of grip tape would also need to be applied to the base of the extrusion.  This allows users to make their own track of any length and to save money on shipping costs.  The tracks bought through this project would be anodized however which makes the outer surface more resistant to wear. A “spin pad” will be provided with the “Slider Lapse Basic” rewards to prevent the drive unit from hitting the end of the track.


The slider Lapse physically moves the camera across the track, but does not control how the camera takes photos.  Any camera used has to have time lapse functionality built in.

There are several apps that can be downloaded for free which allow most smartphones to take time lapse photos.

Most Gopro models have timelapse functionality built in.

Most late model compact camera models have timelapse functionality built in, but older models may not.  It may still be possible do timelapse on older cameras without built in time lapse functionality, by recording standard video, and then post editing it using software on a computer.

Total weight of camera must be under 300 grams.