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Making a robotic gripper from design to testing

Protolabs Network makes it easy to manufacture robotics parts. Watch how we made a robotic gripper, from developing a prototype to testing out the motorized product.

There are many steps involved in producing mechanical components for robotics. One crucial element of many automated systems is the gripper. This is a type of end effector that can hold and release objects to perform tasks. In this video, one of Protolabs Network's mechanical engineers, Francesco, takes you through the process of manufacturing a working gripper using Protolabs Network. 

How to make robotics parts 

The video breaks down the manufacturing process from prototyping right through to validation. For this gripper, we start with an FDM 3D printed prototype before developing a more durable CNC machined gripper ready for testing with a motor. 

As all great ideas start with the design stage, we provide tips to ensure that the motion of the part can be controlled. For example, the importance of tolerances – if they’re too loose, the gripper’s motion will lack precision, and if they’re too tight, there will be too much friction for it to move. 

Find out how we improve the design, trying out various 3D printed models to find the end solution. You can also see how easy it is to use our online quote builder by adjusting the specs you need and selecting a lead time that suits your timeline. 

Robotics-ready materials and surface finishes

We also cover an introduction to selecting materials for robotics parts and finishing them with post-processes. We use aluminum in this instance, because it’s strong and lightweight, finished with anodizing type II for its functional properties (and because it looks great!).  

Trust the quality

At Protolabs Network, every part we produce is held to the highest quality standards. The parts we produce here are visually and dimensionally inspected to be sure they will function accurately. 

Your go-to supplier for robotics and automation parts 

Robotics engineers from some of the most innovative companies come to Protolabs Network for quality parts like these. Find out more about producing automated systems, and how we can assist you with everything from design to prototyping and production.