Large parallel jaw gripper on air power!

When I made the umbrella backpack I didn’t know exactly what air cilinder I needed for the damping mechanism and what would fit in the backpack so I ordered a few to try what works. The large cilinder that I used for this project was still laying on my desk and that inspired me to do another project with pneumatics. Besides pneumatics I’m also intrigued by robot automation and even though I don’t have a robot arm to mount this on I figured it would still be a lot of fun to make a gripper. So there I went.

When I need inspiration for mechanisms I often go the website: To look for interesting mechanisms and ways to do things and since I was looking for something relatively simple and still functional I did the same for this projects inspiration. This website and the makeblock robot gripper gave me all the ideas I needed to get started. 

Since I already knew what cilinder I was going to use I first imported that into fusion 360 so I could see the range of movement I could use. From there on I made a rough sketch and drew all the components. Designing a mechanism like this take quite a bit of fiddling with the various dimensions in the software to get it right for me. But that’s the nice thing of 3d design. 

I had to do all of this in a very short timespan so I needed to use materials I had on hand. I still had some aluminium tubing left over from my camera arm project that I could use so there I had the material for the arms itself. For the jaws and body I went with some 3d printing and plywood.

Check out the build video to see the full process and to see me test it on some eggs and tomatoes.