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GlaDOS Robotic arm ceiling lamp

by dragonator, published

GlaDOS Robotic arm ceiling lamp by dragonator Mar 20, 2013

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All files of the Glados lamp have been relocated

Makebot always had a few minor issues, but after Stratasys took over things went south quickly. With the Stratasys VS Affinia thing where they sued Affinia with "patents" I have already stopped posting on thingiverse, but with Makerbot trying to patent openly developed technologies, I have lost all of my remaining goodwill towards Makerbot.

In light of this recent behavior, I am relocating all my files to my own site: http://ytec3d.com and I will look into posting the designs on another platform as well. I advice everyone to consider if supporting this company is still the right choice for the development of 3D printing like it once was.

More things will be relocated when Makerbot decides to make another move.



Over a month later and here we are. I have won... I still can't really believe it. First thing first: Thanks! Without you guys this would not have been possible. Not just everyone that voted but also everyone that was supportive, without you I would not have had the energy to finish this thing.

Now for the sad part. I have completed this project, and I will not go any further with this project. I have heard amazing ideas from you guys though, so I want to see what everyone else can do with this. So go modify this lamp and make it even more awesome. Amaze me.

I have released all of the files in solidworks and step. Feel free to use as long as you credit. Some of the names are in dutch, but changing them would destroy some of the assemblies, so. Good luck everyone, and until my next project.

Dragonator out.

End of edit

See it moving here:

Go to the instructables page for full instructions on how to make this lamp. You will find a step by step that roughly describes how to make this lamp.


In the files, there is a stationary and a moving zip file. The stationary arm has no need for servo's and is purely decorative.

The moving arm requires 3 micro servo's, one of which needs to be very stong, and a beefy normal servo. To light the lamp, I used 8 3W warm white leds (which in retrospect might have been a little overkill) and one orange 3W led for the eye (only picture in the instructable). The moving arm also uses 2 608 bearings for the arm to rotate.

The controller has 4 10k potentiometers to track the position of the mini GlaDOS. I have included a picture of this. If you search ebay for potentiometer, these will show up almost first. The one in the head is a tight fit, but with appropriate force, everything fits.

This lamp is entered in several contests on instructables (most importantly the UP! contest). If you like it and have an instructables account, please vote for me in the UP! contest and in the lamps and lights contest.

The lamp is designed around the limits of a UP! 3D printer. Special thanks to Almteq in the Netherlands for letting me borrow first one, and then two (TWO) UP! 3D printers (TWO!). Without you guys, this lamp wouldn't have been possible.

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when i buy the 3d printer,i will make one

Where would I be able to find the files? I did not know you took it down.

im tring to make the eye an eye for a projector

The design isn't gone, it is just relocated to http://ytec3d.com/http://ytec3d.com/. I no longer have any faith in Makerbot and so it doesn't make any sense supporting them with my designs.

no,i very like your design,
now making, and want to change eye to camera,
but this time,i just can support you to do this

im not so grump

and this thing is not cool it is just useless

Sad that Makerbot Made this necessary.

Soon to be leaving thingiverse because of Makerbot's behavior towards open source.
Details: http://www.fabbaloo.com/blog/2014/5/25/has-makerbot-crossed-the-line-for-some-yeshttp://www.fabbaloo.com/blog/2...

this... is... awesome!!! =O!

pla or abs recomended (im not an expert on the plastics)

I swear I am going to finish making mine one day! this is not a project for the beginner...

so f***in awesome would it work on a printrbot simple with a 4 inch cubed bed?

its right out of Star Wars, stunning

You mean its right out of Portal (Portal 2) right?

no I'm pretty sure its starwars.

Sorry, but it's definitely from the video game portal!

It could be in the future. You never know what Disney will do with it. I hope they don't ruin the series.

How would this work scaled to 90% size so it could print on an Up! mini with a 12 by 12 cm area.

What print settings did you use? Also do you have a link/part number for the potmeters you used? Thanks!

I never understood the desire for people to share print settings, it is too varied per printer and settings can also be altered per part.

For the potmeters, I used this kind.w

Thanks, but would you advise a specific infill percent? as I want to make it light enough as well as sturdy enough, before I dedicate the time required to print. Also, what is an approximate base diameter? I want to make sure I have somewhere I could put something like this before I decide if I want to invest my holiday break into something like this. Thanks!

Does it insult you, or would I have to make it do that on my own?

If I said this wasn't the coolest thing I've ever seen, I'd be lying.

Superb! printing as i comment. Well done. Hats of to you.


I'm 69999! Your GlaDOS is AWESOME!

I just ordered this from Shapeways!

"An Excellent AI."

-Chef Excellence

Yay! That's one of my favorite models of mine!

Are you going to hook it to a micro controller board and have it follow people around and react to them like that guy who made the interactive desk lamp ?

What interactive desk lamp are you talking about? Got a link?

TED talk about interactive desk lamp robot: http://on.ted.com/Hoffmanhttp://on.ted.com/Hoffman . It's great!

No I'm not, I closed this project months ago. If you want to do something awesome like that with this lamp, you will have to do it yourself.

OK. thanks for the response!

absolutely nice real funny thing i like glados !

You have tooooooooooooooooooo much time on your hands and it's FABULOUS.

Marvelous. Adnd functionally perfect!.

This is amazing! What printer did you use to print yours? and would a Reprap pull it off alright?

This print alone justifies the cost of an entire 3d printer. NICE.

This is a awesome lamp and I wish to produce this...I just have two questions if you are able to answer. First what setting did you use with regards to build layer thickness and infill. And did you have much difficulty removing the supports inside the Glados_Head_V1.1?

i want to flattr this, how can I?

Awesome lamp! Any suggestions where I can print these parts in Holland?

There are plenty of fablab's in the Netherlands, there you might be able to print some. I can sell the parts to someone in the Netherlands, but only if and when I receive my UP printer.

Can you post schematics for your wiring please?

What specifically do you want to see.

There are wires running from the head to the base. The wires are connected to the servo's and the eye led. In the base the wires have connectors per servo to connect them to the arduino. The arduino simply has 4 servo's and 4 potmeters connected to it (and some randomly placed capacitors to filter the power supply).

In my case there is a small junction in the base to connect to extension cables to the cables of glados.

What piece do you want more information about, cause most of this is either simple or user specific.

I am having troubles with how you connected the pot meters to control the servos more then anything else thx

I have posted a rough schematic of my setup. The potmeters are lin(ear) 10k potmeters. Both ends of the potmeters are hooked up to the ground and the supply. The middle lead is connected to the analog input of the arduino. The potmeter becomes a voltage divider. The position gives a voltage related to it.

All the code on the arduino does is look at the voltage (and therefore the position) and convert that position to a servo position.

Hope this is of help

Best 3D print ever

Does this include parts/construction of the controller for the moving Glados?

No, But I am willing to upload those. Bear in mind though that you will need very specific potentiometers to make it fit.

could you possibly tell me what model of potentiometers you used, it would be a lot easier then trying to track down a new set thx

I have uploaded a picture, you can find these at ebay when you search potentiometer. Hope this helps.

I have uploaded a picture, you can find these at ebay when you search potentiometer. Hope this helps.

Sorry to see that you didn't win. I went to go vote for you but I was too late. Thanks for the epic design.

May I ask you why you think I didn't win? The best 10 win an UP!, and I'm with the best 10. Yes I am sure about that. So... Thank you all and source files and schematics are under the way.

Oops, my mistake. I looked at the contest page earlier today and it had a check mark by cardboard arm one saying winner or something. I also didn't realize there was more than one grand prize. I'm very glad you won, I think you deserved it. And again, beautiful work.


Is there any chance you might put up a .zip with the Solidworks parts in it? I'm interested in modifying them to work on our SLS machine.

As seen in the instrucatbles Q&A, I will post all the source files the 15th of April. 6 more days.

This is awesome! Ill be making one and adding a motion sensor with sounds :)

Hmm, if only you could make it to mount CCTV camera, it will be very great...

Oh my gawd, this is amazing. You're amazing for sharing it. So awesome.

What scale is this?

If you want to add servos and control them with your Android device look here:


This is a triumph...

I'm making a note here: huge success.

it's hard to over rate my satisfaction, apeture science

love it! this is awesome!
imagen, giving this thing some actual functions. like insults and movement tracker

man, this is so great. keep the good job.

This is going to be the new lamp for my workshop


This is going to be the new lamp for my workshop


Oh. Hi. So. How are you holding up? BECAUSE I'M A LAMP.

Great stuff man, really amazing - love it! And thanks for the video, really sells this Thing.

I am building this super cool model!!
Your GLaDOS looks amazing!

Does it come with insults?

Expecting this to be featured any time now ;)

WOW best 3d Print I've seen so far! Brilliant job!!!

I voted for you :) Awsome job I think this will be on my todo list :)

Bacon for cad files!!

seems i owe you Bacon sir! now that i have the solidworks files i might just go ahead and make one, i think if i do ill have to order a pixy cam for it. (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/254449872/pixy-cmucam5-a-fast-easy-to-use-vision-sensor?ref=live)http://www.kickstarter.com/pro... now that would be AWESOME!

If I was a thief, broke in and saw that staring at me.
I would shit my pants.

+1 for vid

the amount of downloads speak for themselves.

Even better if the lamp turned to look at you, switched on the light, and commented about how it didn't recognize you but you looked adopted and overweight.

Would you mind uploading the source files?

Yes I would. After the UP! contest on instructables is done and judged (half April), I will post all of the source files in solidworks and step.

I know what I'm making next. I just happen to have some 80 oz-in titanium servos lying around as well...

Screw +1, we'd give him the internet!

I was promised +1's and the internets

Seen the vid, commented. Here. You may have the internets Hands over box with red button

Instantly pushes red button, laughing madly while the world behind explodes

That's so cool - have you got any videos of it moving?

That is the sad part. In the instructable I already explained this, but I
made this partially to be entered in the instructables UP! contest. I
was on a deadline. The electronics I designed weren't capable of
powering the servo's and the servo's themselves were not strong and
accurate enough for some axis. Stronger servo's are easily available,
But I passed my upload deadline by three days already.


No, there are no video's simply cause this thing doesn't (really) move. (only little bits in an experimental way)

Oh I read through the whole thing, I was just wondering if you had recorded any of the stuttery bits. I think you've inspired me to print one of these this summer, but with strong motors :)

I haven't. The stuttering was caused mostly by the crumminess of the servo's. There is a reason those things only cost €2,- a piece.

Simply amazing. Nice work!