It is not easy to speak naturally in front of a camera unless one is trained to do so. Even teachers and course instructors who have a lot experience speaking to students in class feels awkward when speaking in front of video cameras. We are often at the loss or words when we see the red light blinking on the camera. A teleprompter is a great device for such people. However, a commercially available teleprompter is a relatively expensive investment. A simple one can set us back by easily by a few hundred dollars. The cost may not justify the return, especially if one is just starting out. Due to its relatively simple design, many people attempt to build one instead of buying one. Many tried to make home-made teleprompters made out of card-boards and plywood.
As a technically trained person, I decide make a teleprompter made from 3D printing. This device will come in very handy when we teach online courses. Given that we have full control over the design, we decide that the design must be such that they can be stowed as a box when not in use. This is particularly important for students who do not have much space luxury in their home or office. In other words, the teleprompter is designed to be made modular and can be disassembled easily when not in use.
Design challenges: One of the biggest challenges we face in the design is that the final object is bigger than the print-bed, making it impossible for many components to be printed or fabricated as a single piece. They have to be 3D-printed in smaller parts and then assembled together using fasteners, such as cap-screws and nuts.
An important consideration of such a design is that we need to use a black filament. As we learn in our school physics, black material absorbs light. This is an important feature in order that the person reading the text off the inclined panel are not distracted by reflective lights.
If you are interested in understanding how to design and fabricate a teleprompter, please visit the course on