Picture of 3D Printed Robot Arm

This robot arm is made almost entirely of 3D printed parts that snap together. It has three servo-controlled joints, plus a rotating base and gripper. The arm is controlled by a series of buttons that connect to an Arduino Uno hidden in the base. A simple circuit makes connecting the servos and buttons to the Arduino easy and makes set-up and assembly very quick.


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Step 1: Print the parts

The arm is about 20 inches long, so it takes a lot of time and material to print. The parts are sized to fit on the bed of the Afinia H479 printer, and some can be printed together on the same platform to save time. I used a resolution of 0.25mm and hollow fill for all the parts (other settings were set to the defaults). In addition, I found that I needed to use a raft to both help the part adhere to the print platform and help the printer compensate for my table, which was not perfectly level.

The total estimated print time for the arm is about 32.5 hours, although as mentioned earlier some parts can be printed together (the estimate was done using the print preview function of Afinia's software - my actual print time was difficult to calculate because I was still iterating through designs). Including the raft material, it uses 842.8g of filament, which means it can be printed from one 1kg roll.

Most of the parts have "flat" sides that should face the platform (see images). Many of them also have fairly delicate tabs for holding the cables, so take care when you remove the raft and support material. Study the stl file first to get an idea of where the most delicate areas are.

pixel51 month ago

What software did you use that was shown on the video?

Beaconsfield (author)  pixel51 month ago

I used the software that is included in step 2 - just direct control of the servos using the buttons along the base.

Wow! If I had a 3D printer that would be the first thing that I would make. Would it work to install Sugru on the tips of the claws to enhance grip on objects?
Beaconsfield (author)  KyleTheCreator1 month ago

It definitely would! I spent a while picking up stuff (with varying degrees of success) and Sugru would have helped enormously.

3441851511 month ago

Can you provide source files? I want to make a bigger o'ne

Beaconsfield (author)  3441851511 month ago

There is a zip folder containing all the .stl files (meshes) for the parts at step 1. However, note that if you simply scale up the parts the servos and buttons won't fit. You also may run into issues where the servos aren't strong enough to move the arm anymore.

dka132 months ago
I so need to make this
treyes42 months ago

Just when can I win a 3D printer here in instructables I have created so many models waiting to be printed just like this

kenyer2 months ago

I love your design and color-sceme. Nice job!

It's so cool to see it in action!