The motors are all good and good for moving things, but they’re all about Round and round Sometimes, you have to move something back and forth and a linear actuator will do the trick. Although they are easily available online for less than 50, [Michael Rechtin] I really felt like reinventing the wheel and creating a 3D-printed design that cost less than 20 20.
The basic design is simple, featuring a small motor that drives down through various steps using ordinary spare gears. The last gear of the train is assigned to bend a lead screw which moves the arm of the linear actuator back and forth.
For simplicity, [Michael] A 24V brushed DC gearmotor has been used for its low cost and it already has a step-down gearbox in its design. It is paired with a few more 3D-printed spare gears to give it more torque. Instead of a fancy lead screw, the build uses only a quarter-inch bolt from Home Depot, which can be much cheaper. It pushes a 3D-printed arm back and forth and thanks to a nut stuck in the arm. It’s all wrapped up in a neat 3D-printed housing. The design is capable of pushing with a power of approximately 220 pounds. For a more realistic idea of its power, it could easily crush an empty soda can.
The design video is great, showing how important features like the limit switch have been added and how the wires can be neatly hidden inside the housing. We have seen [Michael’s] Do the same beforehand, such as testing the strength of different types of 3D printed gear. Video after the break.
[Thanks to Sebastian for the tip!]