Tag Archives: Spin

This turntable lets you create animated GIFs of your DIY projects

Build a motorized turntable that captures videos of your DIY projects over time, then shares them to your online friends. 

If you’ve ever watched a pre-awards show on the E! Network, chances are you’ve seen the 360-degree rotating stages that have become a fixture throughout red carpet events as a way to capture every angle of a celebrity’s attire. Wouldn’t it be pretty cool if you could do the same, but for your DIY project instead? That’s the idea behind Maker Tiffany Tseng’s latest research project as part of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT’s Media Lab.


A recent recipient of the Editor’s Choice award at Maker Faire Bay Area, Spin is a photography turntable system that enables you to capture the progress of your DIY projects over time. The device is designed as an innovative way to help Makers share their projects in a more community-centric, engaging manner by creating GIFs and videos then posting on social channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Spin is comprised of a Lazy Susan turntable driven by a stepper motor via an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) and Easy Driver motor driver shield, along with 3/16″-thick clear laser-cut acrylic parts, a 1/8″-thick platform and several 3D-printed components, including the motor gear, iPhone 5 dock and the adapter for those using an iPhone 6.


The system uses the Soft Modem library to send signals from an iPhone to the Arduino, which connects the board to the mobile device through its audio jack. To run the Lazy Susan, the Arduino is plugged into a wall outlet using the AC adapter and linked to the iPhone with an 3.5mm audio cable.


At the moment, the Spin iOS app is in its beta stage and available by invitation only. Upon completing your own turntable, snap a picture and request access to the app here. According to Tseng, several turntables will be in circulation at Makerspaces and hackerspaces around the world this summer.