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.