Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Animatronic E.T. Eye Mechanism

by dcpesses, published

Animatronic E.T. Eye Mechanism by dcpesses Nov 8, 2016


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Tinkercad MeshMixer 123D Design flashprint

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Heavily based on the Animatronic eye mechanism posted by Micropuller with several modification, most notably a longer baseplate to accommodate a wider distance between the eyes, concave eyeball irises, wider eyeball screw holes to fit 2-56 ball links, and a baseplate holder to prop up the mechanism on a flat surface.

More details to come!

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Hey dcpesses! I'm just about done printing all the pieces and I'm looking into what other parts to buy. Any chance you still have a list of all the necessary parts and how many of each?

Micropuller commented saying they used 6 Turnigy servo's, an LM8UU linear bearing, 8mm smooth rod, push rods, ball links, M3 hex cap screws, a four channel radio system, and the printed parts. I'm curious if yours was any different and how many push rods, 2-56 ball links, and M3 screws did you use?


Generally speaking, I tried to adhere to his parts list for the mechanics unless it would be a non-trivial task to obtain said part. Case in point, instead of cutting an 8mm smooth metal rod to a custom size, I chose instead to use a M8 hex cap screw + nut with the LM8UU linear bearing. I found I didn't really need to use the M3 hex cap screws though, as the 3d printed parts were a little too tight already. (Some of my print settings were off; it may have printed additional layers on the sides.) I believe I also used 2 packages of the 2-56 ball links (set of 6) and probably used 7 or 8 push rods. For the electronics, I used an Arduino Uno with a Pololu 6-channel servo controller and Wii nunchuck to control the servos. If you want to go that route, you may want to check out the following posts on Instructables:


Oh, and I highly recommend using those Turnigy 9018 servo motors as well.

Good luck!

Right on! I like that idea of using the M8 hex cap screw instead of the rod. This is actually my first time around with animatronics and servos, was their a reason you used Wii nunchucks instead of an RC transmitter? Also what were the dimensions of the push rods? Thank you!

I used the Wii nunchucks because I already had one and felt it could be used more discreetly in costume without anyone noticing. Don't know the push-rod dimensions, but they came from a bucket labeled "12-1" and were threaded about 2-3cm on one end.

Thanks for posting this! I like your concave eye design but I'm going to try to use it with Welwell's design for a baseplate because I can only print in 2 hour increments with my library's printer. And by splitting the base plate I can get each side of the baseplate printed at about an hour an a half.

My hunch is that this should work because both yours and Welwell's designs are based on Micropuller's design. Just to be sure though, did you make the eyeball's larger? or just the eyeball screw holes?


Glad you like it! Just a quick tip, if your library only prints with PLA, XTC-3D works really well to bond the two baseplate pieces together. (Plus, you can use it to gloss up those eyeballs for a 'wet' look too.)

I remember painstakingly trying to keep the eyeballs the same size while remodeling, so they should still fit if you're using a baseplate from either Welwell or Micropuller. I primarily changed the size of the screw holes because the local hobby store has plenty of that size in-stock. (Shoutout to Robin from Robin's Hobby for letting me open up several packages to test which ones fit best!)

Best of luck!

Perfect! Luckily I am printing with PLA so thanks for the tip, I definitely want the wet look. Kudos for your efforts and for your reply!

This is really thoughtful and intricate! Never seen something like this on here before!