3D Printable Robot Arm

A printable robot arm, a little bigger than the usual hobby servo once.

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My printable robot arm is inspired by the well known industry robots, but printable.
The goal is to develop a open source robot arm to use in private or small businesses and make robot development available for every one.
The arm should lift about 2 kg enough to perform every day tasks. Currently robot arms are expensive or small and weak, or clumpy.
Industrial robots are expensive and dangerous and for that not suitable for using at home or schools.
A Open Source printable robot can build,used and developed by every one.
Robots are still expensive and hard to operate, but this must not longer be the case.
A cheap 3d printed robot arm could be used by disabled persons to manage their daily needs better and more independent. Operate at dangerous but not so developed places.
Remote controlled you could even us the robot to open your door if you forgot your keys.

The future Arm will include a moving base.

That's where I'm currently heading ( My 2019 ) :

The four robots I build since this project started.

Version 4 now nearly done and in testing.

Take a look at the Gripper I designed for my Robots:

Version 4 is now nearly complete:

I also started uploading the files on github:

And a components list for version 4:

  • 1 × Version 4 BOM see the link to the excel file:
  • 1 × 24V - 200 Watts (or more) Power supply
  • 1 × Arduino due + Ramps+FD shield I use this until I have time to design my own shield
  • 5 × suitable stepper motor driver I used TB6560 Stepper Motor Driver Boards

  • 2019 Update

    Andreas Hoelldorfer05/12/2019 at 16:51 2 comments

    It's been 4 years since I started this project. Its had some downs and a lot of ups. Time to give you an update about whats going on.

    Notice: "No robots were harmed during making this video."

    I post regular updates on my Instagram feed if you are interested in faster updates:

  • Mantis IK in Robot Overlord

    Dan Royer05/10/2016 at 16:35 2 comments

    The link above is a video of the working inverse kinematics. Now I don't have the arm on my desk, so I can't write the firmware that ties the arm to RO. However! RO is ready to connect and talk with Mantis.

    My interest is drifting towards easier ways to move the arm in VR. The more I use RO the more I want to fly like an FPS game and push/pull the virtual model rather than click buttons on the side.

  • Robot Overlord support for Mantis

    Dan Royer05/04/2016 at 19:23 4 comments

    Hello Everybody! Dan Royer here. You may know me from helping such projects as the PancakeBot and the Cypress Umbrella. Glad to be working with @Andreas Hoelldorfer. He's got the hardware and I've got the software, so it will make a good team. Above you see the latest version of Robot Overlord (RO) simulating the Mantis arm. RO is a robot simulation package I've written in Java. Think of it as my One Ring.

    First stage was to port the Inventor models into the system and animate them. The line you see running through the model is the software's mental model of the forward kinematics (FK). The FK informs the rendering engine where to draw the parts of the model AND it lets the software check for illegal/impossible arm moves. FK means "if my joints are at these angles, tell me where is the finger tip."

    Second stage will be to get the inverse kinematics (IK) working. IK is the other direction - "I know where the finger is, tell me where the joint angles need to be." It will be a naive solution full of singularities because I'm only marginally clever (MC). Sigularities are cases where there may be many valid solutions, and picking an answer is hard for a computer.

    Third stage will be firmware to make this arm talk with RO like all MC robots.

    More generally, MC is working on adding Vive VR support and record/playback to RO. That will mean telepresence work, gamification, and more.

    Dan out!

  • I started with a new version called Mantis

    Andreas Hoelldorfer04/13/2016 at 08:11 0 comments

    After version 4 (green) works quite well. I decided to stick with the basic design and improve this version instead of trying another approach.

    I started with the Gripper and will work from top to bottom down the robot arm

    I will post a video about the part and a small article on my blog where all the links and part lists will be.

  • Still here

    Andreas Hoelldorfer02/29/2016 at 17:32 2 comments

    I just posted a update about my 3d printed, 6-axis robot arm project:

  • All in motion

    Andreas Hoelldorfer10/19/2015 at 07:24 5 comments

    All six axis of my robot arm are moving now:

    I build a case for the electronics, nothing special but it will serve the puropse.

  • 3-Axis running and detailed description of the arm.

    Andreas Hoelldorfer10/04/2015 at 09:55 1 comment

  • Working on Version 4 - Progress

    Andreas Hoelldorfer09/24/2015 at 12:47 3 comments

    I use now Nema23 steppers a high power stepper driver and a Arduino Due board with a Ramps-FD shield. I plan to build my own shield but this have to wait a little bit. I defiantly will stick to the Arduino Due. For now the Ramps-FD shield works fine and its quite cheap (25€).

    Currently I'm waiting for the large bearings to arrive, they are not so easy to find. In the meantime I started wiring all up, the cable tubes inside seams to work this time so less ugly cables.

    Everything looks very pomising now I'm very happy with the new design and looking forward to the all in action.

    The only thing left is the rotating base. I try to get the construciton done this weekend.

    I also uploaded step files on github so you can take a look on the arm.

    Also all other inventor files are online.

    For those who have no CAD I uploaded the robot A360Viewer an online cad viewer:

    I tried Onshape but it had a problem viewing all the parts???

    I regularly upload pictures in this here:

  • Working on version 4

    Andreas Hoelldorfer09/19/2015 at 11:36 6 comments

    Here is my new Video of the robot arm project:

    I also started uploading the cad files on github:

    Still a mess I try to clean it up in the next weeks.

  • Working on Version 4

    Andreas Hoelldorfer09/11/2015 at 20:46 9 comments

    I'm working on a new version based on the experience I made with the previous versions.

    The plan is to use stepper motors and timing belt gears.

    The plan is to use a Nema23 stepper for the rotary base,

    Joint one and two will be Nema24 ( this: )

    Joint 3 and 4 Regular Nema17 stepper and for the 5 joint a HerkuleX DRS-0101 .

    But nothing is final now.

    Power supply will be 24V-36V I guess.

View all 19 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1

    Print all parts and assemble them ;)

View all instructions

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Adrian Karut wrote 02/15/2022 at 10:39 point

Hi, can you update link for components? Right now it is not working.

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JOSE ANTONIO wrote 05/27/2021 at 14:17 point

Hi and good day
like see a wiring to arduino mega, because if i use Y axis, need both axis but, motors are in two directions.


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atheeralattar wrote 10/20/2020 at 04:51 point

I am totally new to this field, I am trying to start making this arm but haven't found a clear starting point, is there any guide or something written especially for electornics

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Roy de Kleijn wrote 07/17/2020 at 12:08 point

This robot looks awesome! but I have 2 questions:

1. does it have homing features? (so we can guarantee the start position is the same, over and over again)

2. Can this be controlled by serial commands? or gcode?



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r0695389 wrote 02/21/2020 at 13:28 point


I am a student who is looking for an low cost robot arm for automating the build plate removal for the prusa i3 mk3s.

Would this robot suit the job in terms of load capacity?


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Michael Burton wrote 01/25/2020 at 03:45 point

Stated payload of 2 kg is similar to the AR3 ... in the $1500 range.  I'm assuming there is at least some commonality in motors/steppers/materials, to achieve this kind of capacity.  There is a kit version of a spin off of your older arm (BCN3D) for about $750, but tests I saw indicated a payload nearer .2 kg.  I'm assuming that your version 4 is likely to be nearer the $1500?


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ligenning wrote 12/09/2019 at 02:38 point

hi,i am your fans , I  want  to  know how to choose these motors ,thanks

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Zboy1997 wrote 02/23/2019 at 06:46 point

Hi,Great project. I'm very interested in the design process of this robotic arm.Now,I‘m a college student, and I want to design a 3D printing mechanical arm like this by myself, but I don't know how to start,I would appreciate it if you could give me some hints.

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Kody Alan Rogers wrote 07/10/2019 at 14:57 point

Hey, I am part of a larger project that is working to build a 3D printing robotic arm. The project needs the 3D printing arm because we are going to be printing something 3 m in diameter. Our current plan is to pick an arm that is already out there and then modify it to our purposes. I was wondering what successes have you had in getting a 3D printing arm up and going? If you want I can share with you some articles I found documenting people who have done it successfully with a commercially available arm. Cheers!

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Zboy1997 wrote 02/17/2019 at 13:20 point

This project is really wonderful, and I am deeply attracted by it. As a college student, I want to design a 3D printing mechanical arm like this by myself, but I don't know how to start, so I would like to ask you what analytical design software is used in the design of this mechanical arm.What knowledge base does the design require?Is there any reference to the learning books recommended?I would appreciate it if you could give me some hints.

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ggovak wrote 07/14/2018 at 05:27 point

Hi Andreas, amazing work.  Can you tell me what kind of material you are using to print your parts with?  And what kind of  3d printer your using?

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Obesefalcon wrote 12/09/2017 at 07:42 point

Brilliant work Andreas. Video sehr genial. Can you explain why you opted for belt drive over planetary gearing systems? Cost? Simplicity?

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Mian Shah wrote 08/17/2017 at 16:43 point

I need information on the Moveo Joint Limits.

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Les Hall wrote 02/25/2017 at 20:13 point

Watching your robot move in the video was very inspiring!  I'm working on one too but mine is just vaporware at this time.  Seeing yours work so well got me motivated!  


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TTN wrote 01/18/2017 at 11:53 point

New and very clever harmonic drive implementation that you may be interested. The video on the page:

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Lasal wrote 10/25/2016 at 04:21 point

Hi Andreas,

the stl files are not available in git hub for version 4. the folder seems empty

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matt.moram wrote 10/24/2016 at 13:54 point

Hi Andreas,

Ive started to build your Version 4 robotic arm, please could you tell me where i can purchase the Non LED and LED encoders.

Also do you have an english version of the BOM

Kind Regards

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trevorjtclarke wrote 09/13/2016 at 00:17 point

For anyone here, looks like this project is a derivative of:, Obviously things are tweaked, but as I was trying to build one myself, a lot of things were left to guess. So heres a link to the main project, which includes docs.


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AVR wrote 09/13/2016 at 16:22 point

This project was started in 2015, the Moveo was only launched two months ago if I'm not mistaken. 

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trevorjtclarke wrote 09/13/2016 at 17:24 point

Looks like i was mistaken. BCN took Andreas first design for their use. Its very annoying trying to find the source of truth on this one, since no one is giving appropriate attribution or explanation of history. Thanks for the heads up.

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Jarrett wrote 09/13/2016 at 17:35 point

Yeah, this is weird:

Kind of a dick move

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AVR wrote 09/13/2016 at 20:09 point

Perhaps we should all post on that github issue until its resolved?

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trevorjtclarke wrote 09/13/2016 at 23:54 point

I have added a pull request to acknowledge. Hopefully they rectify soon. Very bummed at the publicity without proper acknowledgments. 

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Vasily D wrote 08/23/2016 at 18:27 point

Hi Andreas.

You have done great job and I guess a huge amount of try and redo things :)

I am trying to do some similar design, my goal is to hide all motors (step motors for now) inside, make them invisible. I do try to use some planetary gears and keep the motor inside the knee.

And .... meantime I found a great video of KUKA industrial hand.... where, what a surprise, all motors are NOT inside the arm but at the basement... incredible!!!!

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Obesefalcon wrote 12/09/2017 at 07:44 point

Basement: I know what are trying to say: "in the base".

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YuehChuan wrote 08/03/2016 at 14:03 point

Hello I wonder what is the encoder for Nema stepper? Thanks!

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andrew.amos wrote 07/30/2016 at 18:12 point

Hi Has anyone exported the STL files as I don't have Inventor

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andrew.amos wrote 08/21/2016 at 15:46 point

Thanks Yueh its a great design started to print a few problems with warping great Job Andreas looking forward to your new design

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