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  • Writer's pictureDr. Tõnis

3d printed Robotic Arm


On youtube I saw a guy building a robotic arm. He was so kind and had included design files that I was able to adjust. After some consideration, I decided to rebuild the project. Here can one see more from this Youtube channel:

Project summary

Although the inspiration project had everything ready I decided to modify several parts. I redesigned most of the components and adjusted everything to my own stepper motors and controls. In the end a control box was built. Despite a very nice software package I was not able to use it and had to rewrite most of it.

My responsibilities

  • Adjust the CAD model

  • Design my own 3d printed bearings

  • 3d printing and assembly

  • Adjust the stepper control software

  • Write software for the rotation sensor


In the inspiration project several parts were designed not easily printable. Thus, I adjusted the CAD model to be able to print without supports. Additionally, several components looked over dimensioned and I was able to save some filament.

I used an old 3d printer for electronics as I had the parts already available. On the negative side I was not able to connect the rotation sensors and had to rebuild the positioning system on a separate arduino board. A Raspberry Pi was chosen as a control center, making the double Arduino connection simple. For better assembly and visual look I placed all the electronics in a box below the arm. That drastically improved the overall impression of the device.

The redesign took much longer than anticipated. Additionally printing and assembly required some time. In the end when everything was together I was able to test it shortly and was happy with the results. Unfortunately when I tried to combine the control software the shoulder internal parts failed and the arm was not able to hold its own weight.

The rebuilding process required a lot of effort and I decided to stop the project. The design was not considering any reparations and if something breaks one has to take the whole arm into parts - a huge inconvenience.


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