BCN3D MOVEO - A fully OpenSource 3D printed Robot Arm

by BCN3D, published

BCN3D MOVEO - A fully OpenSource 3D printed Robot Arm by BCN3D Jul 28, 2016
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BCN3D Technologies keeps taking important steps in order to achieve his goal of bringing the digital manufacturing technology to everyone. In this occasion we are presenting the BCN3D Moveo, a robotic arm design from scratch and developed by our engineers in collaboration with the Departament d’Ensenyament from the Generalitat de Catalunya. Its structure is fully printed using additive manufacturing technologies and its electronics are controlled by the software Arduino. It has a Marlin based firmware developed for robot arms with steppers by Zortrax. The BCN3D Moveo has 5 axis.

Moveo, fully functional nowadays, has been born, as all the BCN3D Technologies products, with an open and educational wish.


As we have done with all our developed products, the BCN3D Moveo files will be available for everyone. Thanks to the platform Github, a website where users around the world share their designs, anyone will be able to obtain all the necessary information in order to assemble his own BCN3D Moveo at home.

Nevertheless, BCN3D will fee all the Moveo know how on our Github account, as we have been doing with all the BCN3D Technologies products. Thus, the users will be able to find the bill of material (BOM), where all the needed components for the assembling of the arm come detailed, as the CAD designs, so anyone will be able to modify the BCN3D Moveo design as they wish.

Furthermore, the Github users will find the STL files for the structure printing and the assembling, fine tuning and firmware upload manuals, which will be available both in English and Spanish.

Download the BCN3D Moveo CAD files, the STL files, the assembly and user manual and the Bill of Materials on our Github: https://github.com/BCN3D

Read the full article: https://www.bcn3dtechnologies.com/en/bcn3d-moveo-the-future-of-learning/

Thanks to this project motivated by the Departament d’Ensenyament and developed by BCN3D Technologies everyone will be able to fabricate their own robotic arm at home, no highly technical knowledge needed. Therefore, we encourage you to fabricate the BCN3D Moveo and share the results on the social networks using the hashtag #BCN3DMoveo.

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3 days ago - Modified 3 days ago

what are the motors you are jusing for this arm. i want make one by my self on school

Curious what the minimum print area is for this without manually slicing the model to fit your printer.

Great robotic arm! has anyone an idea how much this arm can lift? Or what the limits would be depending on motors and strength of the parts.

Thank you all!

moveo robotic arm with motor control and extended axis demo


This is an amazing project!! I'm printing this out now at 13% infill at .2mm layer hight for the base elements. Is there another infill ratio you all suggest? Looks like in the video one of the pars you all were printing didn't have any infill. Thanks!

Comments deleted.

Thank you, BCN3D for this exciting project and wish all successful 2017. I'm posting my ongoing progress on https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/113871521259522147964 and welcome all for sharing experience.

good morning i am want to buy this robotic arm with all components
please tell me what will be the total cost and how contact with you

good morning i am want to buy this robotic arm with all components
please tell me what will be the total cost and how contact with you

Hi to everybody

AMAZING job is already done and hope that all the community can reach the target of
a complete ROBOT print using 3d printer in a near futur!!!

I give for all of you some very good upgrade very usefull and CHEAP!!!


They have made there own arm robot using a very clever way to have the X Y Z rotation becauce all the motor are only in the base of the arm so the arm is very light and can take until 0.75 KG of charge!!!

Arm robot:

Close loop stepper motor:


I’m sure that in less than 6 month this robot will be the REFERENCE in the world!!!


I like this design very much. Is there a guide anywhere to where I can find an external parts list? (nuts, bolts, specific stepper and servos used)

Nov 18, 2016 - Modified Nov 18, 2016
darenwai - in reply to Zach12323

download here.


I have included the part list from suppliers. Ebay, aliexpress, etc.

What do you estimate the price to be in USD? I really want to build this and I am an engineering student so I think I can, just curious?


Actually, the above link I have included the total price info along with all the wiring info. It will be USD344 if you buy all the screw and nuts locally because screw and nuts are expensive when you have to buy small amount in many types online. Try to find m3,m4,m5 screw locally.

Hi, part 4M1 seems to be missing ?

Great job, parts printing well and looking great !

Finally a software and firmware to control the zortrax or moveo robotic arm.
14days trial. US25 per software. Please support me. Thanks.

Demo: https://youtu.be/wO6RP1ZqzVk

-Can control two arduino mega with ramps1.4. A total of 12axis.
-12axis can be played in a single gcode file.
-Why 12 axis? Normally a 6axis robotic arm is not sufficient to solve real world problem.
So, the extended axis are used to assist the robotic arm to perform task.
-Use joystick to control.
-Support two types of gripper. Magnetic and servo.
-Auto recording of gcode.
-Can play line by line of gcode and delete a single line of gcode.
-Can save and playback unlimited gcode file.

Download the software and firmware at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzSicdTSN7f9V25XYm5UdkxEMzg/view?usp=sharing
Email: testdebug@hotmail.com

Hello, I've read the user manual, it only mentioned 3 of 5 axes, how to control the other 2 axes and the gripper? Thanks

me too


El proyecto es increible. Enhorabuena.

Imprimí piezas este verano. Pero he visto dos problemas.

1.-Los dientes de las piezas no son para una T5. Si miráis veréis que tienen 4.8 mm. y la correa no "engrana correctamente". El problema imagino viene al darle la curvatura a la pieza dentada.

2.- Las piezas son terriblemente pesadas. Se puede alcanzar elevadas resistencias sin necesidad de emplear "secciones macizas". El peso compromete el movimiento del robot.

Un saludo,

Hello, please give due attribution to the original creator: https://hackaday.io/project/3800-3d-printable-robot-arm
thank you.

Actually if I am not mistaken the original design was by Zortrax Printers who releases the robot. Andreas was inspired by it as well. So original creator was Zortrax

This is the first mention of the files on thingiverse http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:591230 by Andreas himself.

Printable Robot Arm
by 4ndreas

Nice work.

when you power up the arm how do you know the nema motor current positions.

I don't see any encoders, how do you get the feedback ?


Hi ptiago,

There are some printed part that have a mark, so you need to align it before power up the robot.

You don't. MAJOR firmware upgrades are needed to make this a reliable source for a robotic arm. You really can't use a 3d printer controller and software to control this. This arm isn't a printer, nor a Cartesian X,Y device. They only used this to get it to move for a video.

Hi Design1766,

This is a real project developed for the Departament d’Ensenyament from the Generalitat de Catalunya, 15 robot arm have been assembled for 15 institutes. Here you have the article: https://www.bcn3dtechnologies.com/en/bcn3d-moveo-the-future-of-learning/
We know that the software and the firmware can be improved, but this is an opensource project so everybody can collaborate with it.

Comments deleted.

Hi, there is an existing software to control a robotic arm, with inverse kinematic that generate g-code ?

Hi Fantasiio,
for now, we are controlling the bcn3d moveo with the software Pronterface, but this is not an inverse kinematic software.

I've finished building the arm and so far there is no software to control the arm. You will have to make your own.

So what is the fun if you copy everything?

Hi Design1766, try with Pronterface, you will move the arm with this software.

Has issues downloading to arduino. Causes an error after compile, and wont proceed to download.

install an older version of the arduino IDE

Hi Markab,
Yes, this is the firmware that you have to upload on the Arduino. For moving the robot arm you can use the software Pronterface.

This is the firmware that goes into the controller, that decode g-code and move steppers. But I'm surprised that there is no software to control robot arm. How industrial robots are programmed ?

Aug 23, 2016 - Modified Aug 23, 2016
Design1766 - in reply to fantasiiio

No,not yet for this product. The whole reason for my purpose of printing the arm it to have an open source arm that can work with the controller my engineering team and I are designing.

What controller are you talking about ? Are you talking about a software that compute movements, or the controller that control steppers, with marlin firmware ?

A controller that utilizes inverse Kinematics for cartesian coordinate placement.

That's awesome ! Will the software be open source, free or at least available on internet ?

can you post a video including the sound of the actual arm running rather than music, interested to see how loud the arm is.

Also can you post the actual model numbers of the motors and belts used, or at least post the details stats for the motors so I can buy similar stats.

What is the maximum weight the arm can lift at the gripper with full extension?

Hi markab,
The project of this robot arm is an opensource project that is still growing up. There is some details of the motors that you should buy on the BOM (bill of materials) posted on the github: https://github.com/BCN3D/BCN3D-Moveo/tree/master/BOM
This BOM will be updated in a few weeks.


There is a video on youtube with the sound, most motors can be found on amazon, look at the length in mm and compare to specs on there, depending on the infill weight has been a big issue, my guess around 1lb or less

Thanks for the reply, I see you have built many arms already, I don't understand why you cant just share the exact part numbers of the motors used!!

The problem with steppers is there are hundreds of different specs, different torque, different current, different voltage, different shaft. If you could just give the model numbers for the motors in each place then we can either by the exact ones that are known to work or at least look up the exact spec for the model and buy something similar!!? Just looking at length is only a very small part!

Well steppers all work on a basic size footprint and. Then the length "usually" is proportional to torque. Longer the body, the more magnetic contact, more torque. I can post my Amazon links for the motors on "I Made it"

Im just wondering are you controlling that robot via open loop control system or closed loop control system.Also what are the proximate backlashes and have you ever try to measure its repeatably? . I have done robot which looks like same but im not using 2 stepper motor on bottom side. and of course im using close loop control system. But its really good design i liked it im gonna make on of them

thank you for this amazing project.
I went to github for its BOM, but i am not able to open that file on my desktop (on opening it displays message- corrupted). I tried to open through google docs , but that file contains something else. It doesn't contains the BOM. Please provide the right file as soon as possible.

I am excited to work on this project.

Hi BCN3D ,
Thanks for the sharing, I already started to printing and ordered almost all the components, but could you please send me wiring diagram too?
I am newbie in electronics.
I am excited to have a working Robot Arm as soon as I can :)

Hi modi2105,

Contact sat@bcn3dtechnologies.com.


I have contacted but no reply yet, please kindly contact with me: mohammad@rabbitprototype.com

It's very nice, but it's too big for my printer to print. I would expect that to be true for many here. I was considering whether it was possible to remix a scaled down version. Not sure if I have the skill or time, but I would be willing to collaborate if there was any interest.

Would it be possible to split some of the bigger pieces in two, then epoxy them together afterwards?

I tried splitting one of the bigger pieces up so it'd fit in my Form2 build area, but since just that bit would cost $100 to print, I think I'll pass on making one of these until I get a cheaper way to print big things.

Great work .... Kudos to the team.

Can this arm be used as a 3D Printer ???
If yes, please let me know how.

Thanks, and once again Hats off for the excellent work and more than that for sharing it.


You can adapt and modify it and probably use it as a 3D printer, but there is some CAD work to do ;)!

This will boost innovation.

Thanks for sharing. It is very very interesting.

Great work, thanks a lot for sharing it!

I would be interested also what are the approximated total costs of this arm is and how long it has taken to print the 3D-printed parts (well knowing that this depends on the printer you have).

Thanks again!

Hi TuxMan,

The cost depends a lot on where do you buy the steppers, drivers, etc. But it would be 400€ aprox.
And it takes like 1 week, depends on the settings ;)!