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

Linear actuator concept for CNC machines

by carlosgs, published

Linear actuator concept for CNC machines by carlosgs Jan 28, 2013
0 Share
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Order This Printed View All Apps


Liked By

View All

Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag.

Print Thing Tag

Thing Statistics

19152Views 3548Downloads Found in Robotics


We are looking for new ways to create a compact solution for moving the axis of a CNC machine. This is one of the concepts.

The main idea is that the threaded rod is still (it does not rotate). Instead, the nut is the one that rotates.

Please check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZ7W4M-OSXI


This object would require some redesign to fit your application. I have uploaded all the OpenScad sources.

More from Robotics

view more

All Apps

3D Print your file with 3D Hubs, the world’s largest online marketplace for 3D printing services.

App Info Launch App

Auto-magically prepare your 3D models for 3D printing. A cloud based 3D models Preparing and Healing solution for 3D Printing, MakePrintable provides features for model repairing, wall thickness...

App Info Launch App

Kiri:Moto is an integrated cloud-based slicer and tool-path generator for 3D Printing, CAM / CNC and Laser cutting. *** 3D printing mode provides model slicing and GCode output using built-in...

App Info Launch App
KiriMoto Thing App

With 3D Slash, you can edit 3d models like a stonecutter. A unique interface: as fun as a building game! The perfect tool for non-designers and children to create in 3D.

App Info Launch App

Print through a distributed network of 3D printing enthusiasts from across the US, at a fraction of the cost of the competitors. We want to change the world for the better through technology, an...

App Info Launch App

Quickly Scale, Mirror or Cut your 3D Models

App Info Launch App

3D Print a wide range of designs with Treatstock. Easy to use tools to get the perfect result. The global 3D printing network that connects you with high-quality and fast working print services nea...

App Info Launch App

Hey carlosgs!
I would be really gratefull if you could tell me how did you achieve that threaded rod is stable (it is not rotating)? On the YT short movie I can't see any additional guides or slides however the rod moves right and left. How did you do that? :)
Any help would be greatly appreciated.


What's the hardware used (screws, nuts, rod, etc)?

I built this but if the rod is not anchored it turns as well. I wanted to use this with a non anchored cage at the end. But now the cage turns too. :)

What size stepper is this designed for?

I downloaded and printed this awesome (good) working thing, just one question though.
Can u tell me what the steps per unit is for the standard nema motor?

Comments deleted.

hi carlos...I don't really understand how it works... do you have an explanation for dummies :-(

I'm surprised no one has build a scalable linear actuator on here we can use for robots since they aren't exactly cheap for small ones :)

I posted a very similar design for a linear actuator online, a while back. http://www.instructables.com/id/High-Torque-Steering-Mechanism-for-really-large-Re/step3/Hack-in-a-gearmotor-to-a-worm-drive-system/http://www.instructables.com/i... Anyway, I can confirm that this type of system works in the field. Great minds think alike!

Very novel take on an linear axis :)

But won't it take up more space as the threaded rod extends/moves outside the machine unless the motor is placed on the moving part?

Btw. the bearings looks like regular bearings shouldn't there be some thrust bearings in there as well?

Those are very good questions:
It all depends on how the mechanism is used. It can be a compact mechanism, capable of reasonably high loads for a small CNC machine.
For heavier loads (>10kg? I don't have the means to measure forces accurately), proper bearings should be used.

Take it as a concept, for our final CNC mill we will probably be using a similar mechanism but with spinning threaded rod. It is as compact but less complex.

Prusa Multi-Tool (mill, drill, printer..), coming soon ;)