3D Printed RC Servo to Linear Actuator Conversion

RC servos are handy when you need to rotate something. You can even modify them to rotate continuously if that’s what you need. However, [Roger Rabbit] needed linear motion, but wanted the simple control afforded by an RC servo. The solution? A 3D printed housing that converts a servo’s rotation into linear motion.

The actuator uses five different parts, a few screws, and a common RC servo. The video shows the actuator pushing and pulling a 200g load with a 6V supply. There’s some room for adjustment, so different servos should work.

We were wondering about the STL files; [Roger Rabbit] offers to send them if you e-mail. We asked and they have been posted to a GitHub repo. There are also a few similar designs on Thingiverse if you want to try a different set of parts, although many of those use stepper motors.

We’ve seen some homebrew linear actuators before, but the attractive part to these is how easy it is to control the RC servo with a pulse width instead of requiring an H-bridge or stepper motor controller. Just the thing for feeding that cat while you are on holiday.

23 thoughts on “3D Printed RC Servo to Linear Actuator Conversion

      1. well they won’t fail if they’re still in the box.

        But seriously, I have used a few dozen of those $5 servos in an art project where they turn a few degrees every couple of minutes and need some holding torque on the edges, running 8h/day, for about 6 months now, not a single one has failed (yet).

        1. It would seem to be totally random which sellers are mixing in rejects, because I once hunted down the cheapest mini servos I could find – got like 30 of them for $20 shipped… About 25% were DOA or failed instantly.

  1. Pretty sweet, though i wonder if the buldge for the gear/servo isnt to big, to my knowledge most projects that use linear actuators do so due to size constraints now allowing for things like rotating arms, so then this would prolly be too big too.

    But ye, still nice

  2. Not the point you can buy many things people build. Difference is you know how they r ok when you build them.think of the skills needed to make this versus buying one. 3d design ed printing mechanical design electrical design. Awesome example. Just my 2 and 3/8th cents
    O

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