Low Cost Linear Actuator (using Glue Sticks)




Introduction: Low Cost Linear Actuator (using Glue Sticks)

About: Hello my name is Pulkit Saluja and I am an inventor and I love tinkering with computers and electronics and playing guitar ,art and craft, I also like cooking in my free time.

Hello everyone this is my first instuctable, I hope you like it.

This is a linear actuator which I have designed ,its a very low cost actuator ,you can use it for many applications.

it is a powerful actuator it can easily lift 3 to 5 kilogram weight but ,I think it can lift even more weight.

it can easily push 5 to 7 kilogram of weight or even more .

considering its made up of glue stick ,at first I thought that glue sticks are not that strong but trust me they are ,if they are properly aligned and used with high torque geared motors.

this actuator has a 4 cm to 4.5 cm linear displacement.

it can be used for many applications like lifting,pulling and pushing.

you can use it for your robots etc.

I hope you have fun making this linear actuator.

Step 1: Material List

  • 2 x Glue Stick
  • 2 x Small Plastic Tube
  • 2 x Geared Motor (300 rotations per minute)
  • 2 x Motor Mounting Bracket
  • 2 x Small Plastic Gears
  • 4 x Thin Metal Strip With holes
  • 2 x Large Bolts
  • 2 x Big Washers
  • 30 x Small Bolts
  • 30 x Nuts
  • 60 x Small Washers
  • Aluminium Angle
  • Thin Aluminium Bar

Step 2: Creating the Actuators

You will need a small 8 cm long strong plastic tube ,a glue stick and a small plastic gear which can be attached to the base of glue stick and you have to remove the glue from the stick so that you can get the plastic part which holds the glue.

  • Stick the plastic tube and the plastic part which holds the glue with any strong adhesive.
  • Stick the small plastic gear at the bottom of the glue stick with any strong adhesive .
  • Now put the plastic tube inside the glue stick.
  • Now you have a very basic looking linear actuator.
  • Follow all the images to understand better.

Step 3: The Actuator Chassis

Here is a look how the chassis will look after completion.

Step 4: Making the Main Support for Chassis

  • This is the main angle piece ,as the complete structure is supported by it.
  • Cut a 15 cm long piece of aluminium angle.
  • You can use a metal filer to soften the sharp edges.
  • Now drill holes in the aluminium as shown in the image.
  • Now your main supporting aluminium piece is ready.

Step 5: Cutting Side Pieces

  • You need to cut two of these pieces.
  • Cut two 12.8 cm piece of aluminium angle .
  • Use a metal filer to soften the sharp edges.
  • Now drill holes in the aluminium angles as shown in image (sorry I drilled these holes very roughly ).
  • The image shown in this step is of a single angle with different sides as drilling the holes is required on both sides of the angle.
  • Their should be two of these aluminium angle pieces and they need to be exactly same.
  • Now your side aluminium angle pieces are ready.

Step 6: Attaching the Side Pieces With the Main Piece

  • After cutting the main aluminium piece and side aluminium pieces we will attach them together using nuts and bolts.
  • Attach the left and right aluminium piece as shown in the image.
  • Attach the motor mounting brackets on the main aluminium piece.
  • Now mount the motors on motor mounting brackets with proper alignment.
  • Your basic chassis is ready now

Step 7: Placing and Aligning the Glue Sticks in the Chassis

  • This is the most important step as our complete linear actuator depends on this step.
  • We need two 5 cm long aluminium angle pieces.
  • Now we will attach our glue stick with a 5 cm long aluminium angle pieces using thin metal strips with holes as Shown in the image.
  • Now we will place the complete assembly in our chassis as shown in image.
  • Now we will make the supporting structure for our plastic tubes.

Step 8: Making the Supporting Structure for Our Plastic Tube.

  • To make the support for our plastic tubes we need to cut a 13.5 cm aluminium angle.
  • Now we need to drill holes on both the sides of aluminium angle.
  • Now we have to cut four 12 cm long thin aluminium bar and drill holes in them as shown in the image.
  • In this step we will use only two thin 12 cm long aluminium bar ,the other two are for next step.
  • Now we will attach these 12 cm long aluminium bars with our 13.5 cm long aluminium angle as shown in image.
  • Now the next step is to attach aluminium angle with the two plastic tubes as shown in image.
  • To attach plastic tubes with aluminium angle we can use large bolts to hold the plastic tubes in place with aluminium angle. and now your plastic tube support is ready.

Step 9: Finalising the Actuator

  • This is the last step for our actuator.
  • Now we will attach the previously made plastic tube supporting structure with our actuator chassis.
  • Now cut four 6 cm long thin aluminium bar.
  • Now attach the previously cut two 12 cm aluminium bar with 6 cm bar as shown in image ,this is used to hold and align the plastic tube support structure with chassis.
  • Your actuator is ready.

Step 10: Actuator Is Ready

  • Now we will paint the actuator.
  • Now our actuator is complete and ready.
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    F. ToddP1
    F. ToddP1

    6 years ago

    Cool idea, look forward to see it in motion.

    I see. You are using the case from the glue stick to convert the rotary motion of the motors into linear motion. The big gears aren't actually used as gears, they are just a connector between the base of the glue stick case and the motor shaft. This build has nothing to do with the glue, it's all about a novel use of the case the glue came in. Nice.


    Reply 6 years ago



    6 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry but I purely don't get it. I see nothing that translates rotary motion to linear motion.

    The blue gear at the motor end of the glue stick doesn't seem to touch anything else.

    The first pic at Part 2 shows a small part to the left of the plastic tube. Then it's apparently attached to the tube. Where's that part from and what does it do? I'm thinking it holds/centers the glue stick in the tube, but again don't see an realtion to motion translation.

    The glue stick inside the plastic tube -- if there's something else in there that causes the rotary to linear translation then please describe.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    their is linear motion because of glue sticks , it uses the exact same machenism to push that plastic tube up as it does it with glue.

    Actually we use rotary motion into linear motion whenever we turn the lower nob of the glue sticks ,so I have used the exact same mechanism , insted of glue I am using a plastic tube , so that whenever we turn the nob of glue stick the plastic tube comes out.

    The plastic portion inside the glue stick which holds the glue is stick with the plastic tube. Actually their is a helical rod in the glue sticks which changes the rotation motion to linear motion by bringing up that plastic part which holds the glue in the glue stick , what I did was that I removed the glue from that plastic part and then I sticked the hollow tube in it so that it can let that helical rod of the glues stick to pass inside it. So that we can achieve a linear motion.

    I will post a video for better understanding .


    6 years ago on Introduction

    It would be good if you can post a video of the actuator in action.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    yes I will post a video in 1 or 2 days