Rover Upgrade: 3D Printed Pan Tilt Mount

I have been contemplating upgrading Max 🤖 for some time now. At the moment, Max can only move its head around horizontally.

But I want it to be able to look not only left and right but also up and down so that my planned software upgrades (read computer vision, reinforcement learning) can make good use of it. However, the thought of printing more parts has always made me push it to “some day” in future. I know how much of work it can be, especially if you haven’t used the printer in a while.

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Day 1

Today, I made up my mind after I found this nice little design that supports SG90 servo.

Powering up the beast…

So far so good…

So why do I think 3d printing could be a lot of work? Well, based on my experience with it, “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong” - Filament jam, print not sticking to the plate, nozzle clogs you name it.

And it did break.

The print looks quite dark and it usually indicates there is something wrong. After inspecting, I found that the feeder had crushed the filament, which could be due to build plate leveling issues. The marks on the plate indicate that the nozzle was indeed rubbed hard against it.

I tried opening the feeder but the whole stuff came off 🤪. alt text

Nevertheless, I am determined to print today.

Alright, time to put the feeder back.

Putting the feeder back

Yup, opened the wrong side.

I am getting all rusty, its been so long when I last touched the feeder that I don’t even remember.

Putting the feeder back

I also adjusted the build plate to make sure the print doesn’t break because of it. However, now I am going to print at a lower resolution because we lost approx 2 hours fixing the issue.

And this time it seems to be working … phew.

3 hours later 🕰️

Print is ready

Day 2

Its time to assemble the printed parts and give it a spin. We need 2 SG90 servo, screws, Arduino Uno, a Breadboard, Jumper wires and the Joystick (optional, I was planning on using it but didn’t use in the end).

Assemble 1

Attach servo 1 to the base

Assemble 3

Assemble 2

Attach servo 2

Assemble 4

Power check ✅

Assemble 5

Connect Uno and the servos

Assemble 6

The desk is not as clean as it looks. This is how the battlefield looks if I zoom out a bit 😀.


A few lines of Arduino code and its time to test the servos.

Servo 1 check ✅

Servo 1 Test

Servo 2 check ✅

And, we have managed to get it working 🎉.

Attaching it to Max is a challenge for another day.

originally published 7 Sep 2020 and updated 7 Sep 2020