Animatronic mini Eye module

by Mark_Valentijn, published

Animatronic mini Eye module by Mark_Valentijn Nov 25, 2017
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I designed a modular animatronic eye with commonly available parts. The eye module has up/down and left/ right movement as well as individually controllable top and bottom eyelids. It started with only an eye module but quickly grew to be an entire head. I only upload the eye for now because this is the most useful part. The rest is pretty custom. Made in the future I upload the rest.

The eye module size is only:

  • 100mm long
  • 45mm width
  • 30mm height

All the parts where printed in ABS and treated with an acetone vapour bath to make everything very smooth. After the vapour bath all holes were drilled to the correct size because the ABS would deform a little during the process. Please note that some parts require extra sanding to make all parts fit. For example the eyelids have extra material around the holes for the ball bearings to make it easier to print. Don’t sand away to much material because the ABS will crack when pressing in the ball bearing(I messed up quite a few this way)

This is a list of all the hardware I used to made one eye:

  • 4X MG90S mini servo
  • 1x 22mm Reborn eye
  • 6x MF63zz ball bearing
  • 34x M2 nut
  • 4x M3 lock nut
  • 28x M2x12 screw
  • 4x M2x5 screw
  • 2x M3x12 screw
  • 2x M3x12 screw sunk head
  • 1x M3x10 screw sunk head
  • 1x M3x10 hex spacer
  • 1x Tamiya 5mm Ball Connector Long (19805825)
  • 2x Tamiya 5mm Stabilizer Ball (15385)
  • 2x Ball and roller link 3.9x2x16mm (230060x10)
  • 2x 57x2mm rod with threat(old bicycle spoke)
  • 2x 22x2mm rod (old bicycle spoke)
  • 8x cable shoe with 2mm hole

I heated the three ball joints with a lighter and pressed them in the Eye coupler. When the plastic was still warm I pressed the plastic down to prevent the balls to pop out of the coupler. After some wiggling around the balls would move smoothly.

I used cable shoes which I modified a bit for the connecting rods but this is not an exact science. You can used other ways like Pushrod Linkage Stoppers or Ball connectors. I just didn’t have enough of these parts so I used the cable shoes.

When you want to make a pair of eye’s like I did. You just need to mirror all the parts and connect them together with two M2 spacers. All servo cables can exit through to back. I used 10mm spacers to make them as close together as possible but you can used any size you want. If you want a row of ten eyes or a dual row of eyes just keep coupling them together.

The sandwich plates are there because it wasn’t as solid as I hoped. There was a little bit of flex between two modules. So I made two plates out of 3mm acrylic. This made it very solid.

I made a short video to demonstrate the head.


All servo’s are controlled by a 32ch servo controller running a script on my laptop and sending commands to the controller over USB. These controllers are widely available on Ebay and other sites.

I'd like to see your applications and extension for this.

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whoaa, so many screws and nuts... you have a onlineshop to buy a set of these things?

Haha, Yeah I designed it with things I had laying around.
But it may be possible to use other screws as well. All servo's are supplied with mounting screws.
You could use these.

I don't have a shop, I'm just a hobbyist.

Waiting for the remaining files to complete the head. Thanks in advanced.

Nice project :-)

Please can you upload the rabbit ears?

Hello I just uploaded the ears.


Animatronic mini Ear module

Very nice project, i hope you share the rest of the model aswell.

Hi Mark

Very interesting project because I was really looking for the smallest possible "eye" construction that I could find.
I printed out all parts but now I have a hard time putting it all together. There is no "right" view of the whole construction only from the left so I now guess I need 4 servo's for the eye but am not sure. Same for the bearings and stuff. I see your material list but cant connect the dots yet.

Do you have more info or a movie available?

I will follow the project, it is interesting to collect. Thank you !!!