Linear and Rotational Actuators

This project page describes prototype linear and rotational actuators. They can be used for any purpose that requires slow movement of light-weight hardware.

We will explore using the actuators for timelapse photography. For this application, an Arduino will alternate between moving the camera a small step and triggering the camera shutter.

After some further development and testing, we will sell a kit version of this project.


  • 0.5" acme threaded rod and nuts
  • 0.5" steel precision shaft
  • nylon bushings
  • bearings
  • timing belt and timing belt pulleys
  • laser-cut plastic
  • 9-12V DC motors
  • spacers
  • L brackets
  • rubber feet
  • bolts, nuts, and machine screws
  • limit switches
  • Arduino and Grove shield
  • Grove Motor Shield
  • Grove OLED display
  • IR emitter/detector pairs
  • Grove buttons and knobs
  • printed encoder wheel patterns
  • plastic enclosure for Arduino, motor driver, and batteries
  • wire
  • wire ties

Assembly instructions

This was just a prototype. We haven't produced a final version yet, but hopefully will in the future. At that point we'll provide assembly instructions. Contact if you have assembly questions.