Updated Version of the Claw Machine

Sorry for my bad englisch, it is not my native language.

Claw machines are fascinating for many people. Did you ever want to build your own? I did, so I just built my own. You can do the same, if you have some skills in electronics and working with wood etc and if you are creative! Watch the video to see what i built.

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Step 1: Starting the Project

To build this claw machine, it took me about half an year, and even now it isn´t finished. You can always work on it and improve it. For example, I didn´t built-in acrylic glass yet, and i also didn´t paint it yet. I want to do that when the claw game is perfect for me.

The question everyone is interested in first: How much money it will take?

Well, it depends on how much materials you already have at home, like woods and cables. But if you do have basic things like tools etc. already, it will cost about 150$.

For my first inspiration I searched an ELAUT claw machine instructions and found this one (pictures on top)


Step 2: Buying Materials

First you need some materials for the machine, I used OSB wood for the housing and plastic as "rails" for the moving part one the top. Of course you also need the electronic parts, here is a list with some useful parts (for what you need them is explained later)

-a few Relays with 12 V Coil Voltage

-a lot of cables

-joystick and some buttons for the X/Y/Z movement

-for decoration some lights like LED´s

-other parts you will need are explained later

Step 3: Start Building

As the second Step you have to build the housing for your claw machine. It will help to design the different panels first .

Now you just have to cut out the shapes for the four sides of the machine: the front, left and right side are the same, expect of the price output on the front and the door on the right for the electronics.

Now you have to put the wood panels together. I used some wood slats on which i drilled the panels.

For the price issue you need the small wood you just cut out and add a hinge so that you can open and close it.

A more complicated thing is to build the shaft where the prices fall in. You have to be creative, be free and let inspire yourself of the pictures.

Step 4: Electronics

In the picture you see a circuit diagram as a example the claw works.

The basic problem is that the motores have to move left/right, backwards/forwards and up/down. To control this motions with a joystick for the X/Y movement and with buttons for the Z movement you need the relays. Just link them up for the cable network like in the picture.

When you insert a coin, a one minute timer is started, the joystick is unlocked and a game music starts. I used an old DVD player; the DVD menu is the background music that is played every two minutes and the "film" that is started with the insert of the coin is the game music.

Step 5: Mechanics

That is the most complicated part of the project: The mechanics. These are the main part for the machine, because the claw have to move in X/Y/Z axis. I mostly used LEGOs because it is easy to build with them and they are very strong.

Step 6: The Claw

The most important thing is not just the mechanics, it is the Claw. That is the only part i did not built myself. I searched where I can buy a claw as a replacement part for a real claw machine. I found it on

(On this website you also can find other things for arcade games, the only bad thing is: If you are living in Europe like me, the shipping costs are very high, about 60$)

The claw works with a magnet coil

Step 7: Finish the Project

Here are some pictures of the first version and of the latest version.

Thank you for your interest in my project! If you have questions or critics, please write a comment! If you built your own claw machine, please post a picture of it!


Updated Version

Plans for the future:

coloring, wiring it up with an arduino, new joystick plate, new Mechanics (motors etc., no more LEGO), LED lights

Stay tuned!

1 Person Made This Project!


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15 Discussions

Suko Mittens

Question 5 months ago

You have the picture for all of the ways the wires hook up to the motors and to the see player and so on. I don't know what the colors represent in English because they are all in another language. Could you name them please?


1 year ago

loved your project! Professional ! Can you help me with quick questions? How much did you spent in US dollars, how long it took to build it? I am a lawyer in Brazil with zero knowledge of electronics or engineering, can I still do it? And last, how much percentage of parts of it are found to be sold in stores and how much you had to improvise?

1 reply

Reply 1 year ago

Check out my latest version of this machine:
I spent maybe about 300$ on this project. I would recommend to ask a friend who has some knowledge about electronics to help you with building your own claw machine.
Some parts can be found on the internet, some parts you have to build on your own.


3 years ago

Interesting. the claw games you see in the arcades are adjustable for how much you want the punter to win. Nothing is about skill or chance.

2 replies

Reply 3 years ago

True, I know the video. But at my claw machine there is no programming, so it depends on your skill if you win or not :D


3 years ago

Can it have some more detail on how to set up electronics? I would like to try, but it doesn't tell you as much as I would like.

2 replies

Reply 3 years ago

please tell me exactly what part of the electronics you want to know (coin insert, light, music, controls)


Reply 3 years ago

I see like the pieces of electronic that are used, but not the way to connect them all.


3 years ago

Hahaha really cool, I love the concept specially for kids party to build one like this. I actually took a soft plush toy big hero 6 as is my favourite Disney toy, and I turn it into a smarter toy using 9 hardware components, but most important I use this chip that called EPU (Emotion Processing Unit) that gives big hero 6 emotions,personality,and respond emotionally. Is really easy because I want to badly my toy to speak and feel emotions. So is a smart toy with an AI.


3 years ago

it's really cool, how you can actually make a claw machine at home, but that's when I think, how do the people in factories make it?