Fab Deltabot


Fab Deltabot:

a platform for independent versatile and live-controlled delta robots.


Step 1

Understanding Hardware Setup

get an idea about the parts and systems used.

Step 2

Wiring and Electronics

get an idea about the wiring and electronics.

Step 3

Materials, components, costs, processes and tasks

outline your work.

Step 4

Joinery, Details

understand the possibilities and limitations of connections within the system.

Step 5

Barduino Board

the fab-able equivalent to Arduino Pro or Pro Mini.

Step 6

Power up your machine

depending on your servos, I used a 5V and 5A power supply that actually provides 5.9V.

Step 7

Wiring up

connect the parts! watch out for the pins.

Step 8

Interface the machine

a crucialt part! inverse kinematics calculations are going on in the background.

Step 9


the most important part of it!

1) unzip the Software Folder and open 'a_GUI_Arduino_wlzr.ino' by double-clicking or opening from the Arduino IDE.
2) check for the board and port you are using and compile the sketch.
(in the case of Barduino it is: Arduino Pro or pro Mini; ATMega328 (5V, 16Mhz)).
3) you can close the Arduino IDE. Basically the Sketch will ask for Serial values coming in from Processing and command servo moves.
4) go back to the software folder and open 'b_GUI_Processing_wlzr.pde' by double-clicking or opening from Processing Software.
5) change the port name in (line 89) to the one previously selected in Arduino IDE.
6) run the sketch and start playing; watch out since servos can operate pretty fast.
7) calibration: check the link on top of the sketch and get your measurements into the code.
8) play around and troubleshoot as well physical errors (especially the joints!).
9) this is just the beginning of a platform: hack the hell out of it, attach different tools and/or get in contact with me!

Step 10

Enjoy, play, hack

have fun and share your experiences!


Delta what? A delta robot is a parallel robot that is designed for precise and fast movements of light payloads, generally used for pick-and-place/pack operations. The deltabot is composed of three two-segment arms/legs mounted in 120 degree intervals. The arms/legs use parallelograms to restrict the motion of the "wrist", the end effector. Wrist and elbow use ball magnets in order to keep the distance but not an certain angle, that is the magic of the kinematics and it's beautiful to watch how to position of the effector is constantly being negotiated between the three servos.

My intention is to create a platform for Deltabots that are entirely fab-able (apart from servos and ball magnets probably). The interface is done in Processing Software and use serial communication to drive the servos and motors. I aim for an exchangeable end effector (you are able to attach any effector: extruder, drill/mill, brush, graffiti, light source, scanner, camera etc.) and for a scale bigger than desktop 3D printers and I can see also purpose in academia for an interactive machine like this. There are quite some Deltabots out there, DIY and industrial, servo and stepper motor based. I decided to go for a servo based one because it doesn’t require those massive pillars on each corner and you are free to decide to hang it, build a cage etc. I based the design upon many references I found around the internet and I will provide all the sources (3D Files, cutting and print files, code). The machine will operate with three arms/legs and on free and open-source software. The parts cost around 200 Dollar (mainly servo costs). The idea is scalable and ready to be modified and ideally hacked into something new/better.
Just give me a shout if something is unclear. You can find the final video here: http://vimeo.com/wlzr/fabdeltabot

Happy fabbing,

Discuss this Project on discuss.fablabs.io