Contents of the Robot Arm folder.
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The 3-axis robot arm was designed because I always wanted to build such a thing. The plans were intended to be sold to individuals who felt the same way and schools and other educational establishments who wanted to use them for teaching everything from electronics to mechanical construction. The Mechanical part of the plans show how to build a machine with an A3 size bed (the x and y axes) plus a lift of 6 inches (the Z axis). All the materials are stock aluminium or steel. The motors used are NEMA type 23. The electronics are very simple and include circuits to drive these motors, although there are now better ways of doing this. (Links to web sits with more modern electronics are included.) The whole principle of how to drive the motors with a computer is given in detail, including an interface for an Amstrad PCW computer. Yes, you did not read that wrong… It was designed in the days before I could afford a PC. However, there is now some amazing free software that you can download from the web that will control these types of machine, and again, links are give. I’ve since built a bigger version and use it as a CNC machine, controlling a Router, to cut shapes and carve in wood. The machine described in the plans would have enough power to drive a mini drill (Dremel type thingies), or hold a pen and be used as a plotter. As with all the plans, they give you the opportunity to get a basic machine working and then modify it to suit your use. It’s a brilliant educational tool for schools and far more use in everyday life than learning that King Harold lost his left eye in 1066.
47 pages. First produced in
Changes that I would make if I
were to do it today.
Since I designed the machine linear
bearings have dropped in price and you can find bargains on e-bay. It would work
far smoother using linear bearings for all the slidey bits rather than the brass
The bits about programming are useful
for academic purposes, but if you go to:
You can download a brilliant piece of free software to control a 3 axes machine.
It will output step and direction
signals through a PC Parallel printer port that can be fed into a driver circuit
to operate the motors.
The electronics mentioned in the plans
will work. (But check the voltage outputs from the PC printer port, and heed the
warnings on the software site about the possibility of blowing up your PC !!!.
Use a separate parallel port card, to minimise any potential danger.)
However, better chips have been
developed for driving stepper motors, and I would recommend you take a look at:
The site is a haven of knowledge for all things to do with home made CNCs. Look in their index for “Hardware” and “Stepper drivers” for some up to date ideas.
The pages are as follows:
Page 0 Copyright notice
Page 1 Front cover
Page 2 Index
Page 3 Introduction
Page 4 General description
Page 5 General description
Page 6 Stepper motors
Page 7 Stepper motors
Page 8 Mechanical construction
Page 9 Mechanical construction
Page 10 Mechanical construction
Page 11 Electronics
Page 12 Electronics
Page 13 Electronics
Page 14 Mechanical parts list
Page 15 Nuts and bolts
Page 16 Electronic parts
Page 17 Programming
Page 18 Programming
Page 19 Programming
Page 20 Programming
Page 21 Programming
Page 22 Programming
Page 23 Programming
Page 24 Programming
Page 25 Addresses
Page 26 Appendix 1
Page 27 Main frame
Page 28 Support pillar
Page 29 Support pillar
Page 30 Support pillar
Page 31 Support pillar
Page 32 Y carriage
Page 33 Support brackets and capstans
Page 34 X slide supports
Page 35 Z and X carriage
Page 36 Slides
Page 37 Finger pieces and solenoid pull
Page 38 Z carriage base and motor spacer
Page 39 Power supply circuit
Page 40 Solenoid driver circuit
Page 41 Input buffer circuit
Page 42 Stepper motor driver circuit
Page 43 IN/OUT port for Amstrad
Page 44 Photos
Page 45 Photos
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