3 DOF Open Source Robot Arm Is Just the Beginning


[Dan Royer] of Marginally Clever had a dream. A dream to build an open-source 6 DOF robot that anyone can make! To do so, he’s been learning robotics for the past two years, and has just finished the first step — he’s designed and built an open source 3 DOF palletizing robot!

He’s based this little guy off of the commercial ABB 460 palletizing robot, which is a tried and true industrial robot. It features all laser cut parts, a few nuts and bolts, some stepper motors and an Arduino UNO for the brain. He’s released all of the design files on Thingiverse and the firmware on GitHub — yet another project we’d like to build if only we had a laser cutter!

And don’t worry, the Arduino UNO is only being used for this first prototype — he’s already started writing code for the RUMBA (Reprap Universal Mega Board with Allegro-driver) controller for revision 2.

Stick around to see it write its first greeting with a marker — Hello World!

It’s an exciting project and we can’t wait to see further development! Keep up the good work [Dan]!

Maybe we can teach it manually in the future too!



  1. ftkalcevic says:

    Nice. I do like the use of linkages in the design. I’m doing something similar. It makes it easier to redistribute the weight of the motors and balance the arm.

  2. APBurner says:

    I am guessing that you could print out the parts on paper and glue to plywood then cut out all the parts on a scollsaw. Before laser cutters that was the way to make parts like those.

  3. john smith says:

    It strikes me that you don’t have to give up just because you don’t have a laser cutter. All those parts can be cut just the same with regular woodworking tools, or even hand tools. A jigsaw (the handheld tool, not a scroll saw) and a drill press should be all you need. Just print the plans, tape sheets of paper together if needed, spray adhesive to stick them to wood, and cut away. A bandsaw might help on the gears, but you can still do that with a jigsaw too.

  4. DaHoff says:

    Since no one has mentioned it, this is extremely similar to this. Not sure which one came first, not sure I really care.

  5. LouLou says:

    for 3d Printer? (hint hint)

  6. strider_mt2k says:

    Maaan did I have the scale misjudged at first.
    I thought this was huge at first!

  7. wretch says:

    It always starts with an arm, doesn’t it? First an arm, then a worldwide robot factory complex hellbent on eradicating mankind.


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