Robust linear actuator

Robust yet simple and relatively cheap linear actuator for hobbyists !

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This is a linear actuator based on stepper motors. The idea was to make a strong yet cheap and simple linear actuator.

I made it in both a regular M8 and T8x8 acme version but based on the same parts. Only the coupling, nut and of course the threaded rod are different - ahh okay, you need a different coupling and a 8 mm collar to lock the threaded rod. But more on that in the BOM.

The T8x8 is of course way faster than the M8, but also has less torque and is also more costly because of the acme rod.

Again the idea is to keep it simple and scale-able !

The actuator consists of both bought mechanics and 3D printed parts - printed at 0.2mm layer in PLA with 40% infill. Tested to be strong enough to not break under loads of 12 kg. I haven't really made other high load tests other than lifting the 12 kg NEMA 42 shown in the video - so it may be capable of more. However, 3D printed parts also have their limitations ;)

I have made the design in Fusion 360 and made available both the STEP models and STL packages for both the M8 and the T8x8 version of the beast on GitHub !

M8 vs T8x8 speed

A short video showing the difference in speed for the two versions is given here. The steppers are running at the same speed so it's simply because of the lead screw.

Assembly manual

To get some training in Fusion 360 and since I just think it's easier I made assembly manuals based on renderings which are also available on GitHub...

Second iteration

This design is my second iteration on it and there might come more iterations if I find something that I believe should be changed... 

Relation to uStepper

To be clear I will just add a note here that the uStepper and Shield I use here in the video and in my instructions are there because I am one of the creators of uStepper. But for this project it's irrelevant since the actuator is not dependent on the uStepper and can be used with any type of stepper motor controller. 

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    Assembly manual

    The assembly manual for the M8 version of the actuator can be found here: Assembly M8

    And for the T8 version here: Assembly T8

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Dan Maloney wrote 01/23/2020 at 20:02 point

These have a really nice appearance that just looks professional. Nice job!

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Simon Merrett wrote 01/22/2020 at 22:04 point

I haven't looked in great detail but thank you for posting everything. I think there were several people who were disappointed by makermuscle and this looks more open, so hopefully will satisfy them.

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mogens wrote 01/23/2020 at 05:12 point

Yes, I also had my hopes up for MakerMuscle since it is neat looking with the custom profile it’s built around. But It doesn’t seem to come any time soon. Anyway I hope this one will be useful to people since it’s made with components widely available.

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