An open-source 3d printed underactuated robotic gripper

About the open-source gripper project

There are many simple designs of commercially available grippers for grasping cylindrical and spherical shape objects. In general, many of them do not accommodate extensive customization of the design features for attachment to different robotic arm platforms or integration of additional sensors for research purposes. To address such problems 3D printing rapid prototyping technology is actively applied for manufacturing of low-cost robotic hands. Aiming to provide a basic robotic platform with minimal number of 3D printed components and off-the-shelf actuator for facilitating robotic research efforts, a 3D printed open source robotic gripper has been developed. It utilizes a linkage based finger system and present an open source 3D printed underactuated three fingered robotic gripper. The simple three fingered robotic gripper would allow researchers modifying the design for both research and educational purposes. The 3D model of the gripper is created using SolidWorks software.

An underactuated mechanism is one which has fewer actuators than dofs. When applied to mechanical fingers, the concept of underactuation leads to selfadaptability. Selfadaptive fingers will envelope the objects to be grasped and automatically adapt to their shape with only one actuator and without complex control strategies. In order to obtain a determined system, elastic elements and mechanical limits must be introduced in statically underactuated mechanisms. While a finger is closing on an object, the configuration of the finger at any time is determined by the external constraints associated with the object. When the object is fully grasped, the force applied at the actuator is distributed among the phalanges.

Current results

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The gripper designed and modeled in SolidWorks, all files available here on ALARIS website, can be modified and reprinted on 3D printer.

Please cite

Y. Tlegenov, K. Telegenov, A. Shintemirov, An Open Source 3D Printed Underactuated Robotic Gripper, The 10th IEEE/ASME International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications (MESA’14), Senigallia, Italy, September 2014. 

The published paper is available on IEEE Xplore Digital Library. IEEE Xplore pdf bibtex

Telegenov, K.; Tlegenov, Y.; Shintemirov, A., A Low-Cost Open-Source 3-D-Printed Three-Finger Gripper Platform for Research and Educational Purposes, Access, IEEE , vol.3, no., pp.638,647, 2015

The article availabe at IEEE Xplore Digital Library. IEEE Xplore


The three-fingered robotic gripper consisting of the three 2-DOFs underactuated fingers, a base, a palm, a gear train set, and an actuator.

The fingers are attached in a circular way with 120 degrees between each other. This allows the worm wheels of the fingers to be driven from a single actuator via the actuating worm. This type of layout of the fingers is preferable for grasping spherical or cylindrical objects of different sizes.

The gripper has a simple design and relatively higher payload property comparing to similar size tendon driven mechanisms.

The 3-D design model of the gripper is manufactured with a minimal number of 3-D-printed components and an off-the-shelf servo actuator.

Mechatronics design of multi-finger robot hand

  • Chwan-Hsen Chen

  • Engineering

    2012 12th International Conference on Control, Automation and Systems

The author reports the development of a multi-finger robot hand with the mechatronics approach. The proposed robot hand has 4 fingers with 14 under-actuated joints driven by 10 linear actuators with

  • 11

The BarrettHand grasper – programmably flexible part handling and assembly

  • W. Townsend

  • Computer Science

This paper details the design and operation of the BarrettHand BH8‐250, an intelligent, highly flexible eight‐axis gripper that reconfigures itself in real time to conform securely to a wide variety

  • 206

  • PDF

Underactuation in robotic grasping hands

  • L. Birglen


    C. Gosselin

  • Engineering

This paper presents the development of selfadaptive and reconfigurable hands which are versatile and easy to control. These hands have three fingers and each of the fingers has three phalanges. The

  • 272

  • PDF

Analysis of Underactuated Mechanical Grippers

  • Serge Montambault


    C. Gosselin

  • Engineering

This paper presents the concept of underactuation applied to grippers and mechanical hands. The main objective of this work is the kinematic analysis and design of underactuated mechanisms. First,

  • 91

Geometric Design of Three-Phalanx Underactuated Fingers

  • L. Birglen


    C. Gosselin

  • Engineering

This paper studies the grasp stability of two classes of threephalanx underactuated fingers with transmission mechanisms based on either linkages or tendons and pulleys. The concept of underactuation

  • 81

  • PDF

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*Department of Robotics and Mechatronics, School of Science and Technology, Nazarbayev University
53 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue, Astana, Kazakhstan

**School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Wollongong
Wollongong, New South Wales 2522, Australia

Keywords:underactuated robotic end effector, gear train mechanism, breakaway clutch mechanism, 3D printing, adaptive grasping

A robotic end effector prototype

A robotic end effector prototype

Commercially available robotic grippers are often expensive and not easy to modify for specific purposes of robotics research and education. To extend the choice of robotic end effectors available to researchers, this paper presents the preliminary work on prototype design and analysis of a three-finger underactuated robotic end effector with a breakaway clutch mechanism suitable for research in robot manipulation of objects for industrial and service applications. Kinematic models of the finger and the breakaway clutch mechanisms are analyzed aiming to define selection criteria of design parameters. Grasping performance of the end effector prototype manufactured with a 3D printing technology and off-the-shelf components is evaluated using simulation and experimental analyses. Comparison with widely applied available robotic end effectors shows the potential advantages of the proposed end effector design.

Written by Jane