Mini Linear Actuators From DVD Drive Parts

For many years now a source for some of the smallest and cheapest home made CNC mechanisms has been the seemingly never-ending supply of surplus CD and DVD-ROM drives. The linear actuator that moves the laser may not be the longest or the strongest, but it’s free, and we’ve seen plenty of little X-Y tables using CD drives. It’s these mechanisms that [Nemo404] has taken a little further, freeing the lead screw and motor from the drive chassis and placing them in a 3D-printed enclosure for a complete linear actuator that can be used in other projects. (Video, embedded below.)

There seems to be no positional feedback, not even the limit switch that would grace a typical CD drive, but aside from that it makes for a compact unit. There are two versions, one for a linear bearing and the other for the brass bushes found in CD drives. It’s unclear how strong the result is, but it appears to be strong enough to demonstrate lifting a small container of screws.

Should you need to make your own actuator then aside from the easy-to-obtain old CD drive the files can be found on Thingiverse. And introduce yourself to the world of CD drives for CNC machines by taking a look at this mill.

Thanks [BaldPower] for the tip!


11 thoughts on “Mini Linear Actuators From DVD Drive Parts

    1. …so then I wonder how much current the little motor needs to lift >300g with the usual 3-4mm pitch screw — and how long it can hold it. Because I expect not indefinitely. Which could be fine for brief actuations on a light duty cycle. Next question would be what load can it hold indefinitely. Or maybe it can hold 300g all day – which would rock.

      1. From the thingiverse: “a4988 stepstick + wemos d1”. So bipolar stepper motor it is… Maybe you’re thinking about those similar looking steppers from old floppy drives? Those were unipolar, right?

  1. >My ears begs for Trinamic silent driver.
    >>It’s actually unlikely they make a driver for it because it’s almost certainly a unipolar stepper motor.
    In the video you can see 4 wires: that indicates a 2 phase bipolar motor.

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