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One year, I received a robotic arm kit for Christmas made out of acrylic parts and controlled with an Arduino. I put it together and uploaded the code to the Arduino board, only to be disappointed with its performance. I spend a good deal of time troubleshooting it, but I didn’t have any success. Finally, I put the kit aside and pursued other projects.

A few months ago, I came back to the robotic arm kit and figured out what the issues were. If I did my research correctly, most servo motors draw about an amp of current. I think that the power supply provided in this kit did not provide enough current to power all of the servo motors in the robotic arm, resulting in the motors having a “jerky” effect (for lack of a better term).

Before I came to this conclusion, I realized I did not like the acrylic parts as building materials. They were not structurally advantageous, and they were noisy (the friction between them made the parts creek). At this point, I decided to just design and build my own robotic arm with 3D printed parts.

This project will walk you through:

The design process
How to build the arm
Programming the arm
Here are the parts I used for this project.

Hardware (screws, nuts, etc.):

m2 screws (assortment of lengths)
m2 nuts
m3 screws (assortment of lengths)
m3 nuts
m4 screws (assortment of lengths)
m4 nuts
m2 hex standoffs (must be hex):
22 gauge solid core wire (stripped)
Electrical (servos, boards, etc.):

Arduino Mega
smraza S52 micro metal gear servo (x2)
smraza SG90 micro servo motor (x1)
Tower Pro SG-5010 double ball bearing servo (x1)
Tower Pro MG-906R high torque servo (x2)
General electrical components:
wire, pin headers, etc.
Tools (access to these):

Soldering Iron
3D printer
Generic tools (hammer, screw driver, etc.)
Note: The 3D printed parts are designed around these specific items and brands.”

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