42 SERVO 04.2016
actual needs. However, you should be
able to see the basics and adapt it to
fit your particular project (see Figures
3 and 4).
I would like to give a little extra
detail on how we mounted the eyes.
For this part of the project, you will need a 3/4 inch PVC
connector and a short piece of 3/4 inch pipe. Cut the
connector in half, with one half slightly longer than the
other. The goal is to end
up with one side still
having the center ridge
intact. This small ridge is
what serves as a stop to
keep the eye from
coming out the front.
A 3/8 inch long ring
is cut from the 3/4 inch
pipe and installed at the
back of the eye to hold
it and keep it from
falling out the back
(Figure 5). Finally, a
small eyebolt is glued
into the eye and serves
as the mounting point.
This is a fun and
easy Do-It-Yourself build
that can be adapted for
a number of different
applications. You can
easily substitute parts if
you prefer to use
something other than
wood. In fact, this
would be an ideal
candidate for a 3D printer project.
So, You Want a 3D Printer
It just so happens that I do have one to suggest (see
Resources).With the popularity and availability of 3D
printers these days, many new and exciting products are
becoming available to us. You can choose the complexity of
your design and adapt it to your needs.
I have been interested in this new technology and
searching for an opportunity to test it out. These eyes were
my first foray into using this technique in one of my props.
I have personally enjoyed and greatly benefited from
the videos put out by Halloween2go (see Resources). If
you haven’t seen them, I suggest you check them out as
they provide some extremely useful information. I was
pleased to see that they have come out with a new product
this year: 3D printed animatronic eyes (Figures 6 and
These eyes move side to side, and the upper eyelids
open and close. You have your choice of blue or brown
eyes to fit your preference.
The best part is the eye kit. It is only $25! Yes! That is
no misprint — $25! Are these Hollywood movie quality
Post comments on this section and find any associated files and/or downloads at
Figure 5. Eyeball assembly so it all stays together.
Animatronic Eyes — http://tinyurl.com/h8w3wct
Halloween2go — http://tinyurl.com/h7j32j2
ServoCity — http://tinyurl.com/zpz9ubm
ProPoxy — http://tinyurl.com/zqmzv8q
Stan Winston School — http://tinyurl.com/q2f7p9w
Monster Guts — http://tinyurl.com/j2uuo5n
Adafruit — http://tinyurl.com/p4twuqn
Shapeways — http://tinyurl.com/la8mejk
Figure 6. I see you!
Figure 4. Back view shows it is not a complex build. Figure 3. Top view of the mechanism.