Rolling Eye – Fab – week6



For the last assignment you will be mounting a motor/servo/stepper (one or more) to something as well as mounting something to that motor/servo/stepper.  It can be completely DIY, or off-the-shelf components, or a combination of the two.


I want to make it simple for the project that uses motor. I then concentrated on eye movement in our daily life. I realized it would be an interesting showcase if I were to make the pupil to rotate while the iris moves. Therefore, I created the Rolling Eye.

Materials used

Motor; Shaft Coupler – 3.5mm to 6 mm; Shaft/axe – 3mm; plywood; zip ties; and standoff materials.


I was inspired to make an open enclosure using just standoffs and laser cutted patterns. I also didn’t want to measure too many from the motor since it has a weird shape. Therefore, I just cut two small rectangles so that I can use zip tie to connect the motor and the wood panel in implementation stage.

The whole assembling doesn’t take long since it is an open enclosure. For the design of the eye, in order to make the movement of the pupil more obvious, I chose to cut out a small circle, which is the size of the shaft, on the side of the pupil rather than in the center. I originally wanted to create a sail arm and stick the pupil on top. However, I think it may be too heavy for the motor to move everything.

Originally, in terms of material, I was thinking of using white acrylic for the iris and black one for the pupil since I can mark the patterns on the pupil red, in order to make it more realistic. Then, I didn’t want to buy extra and didn’t have the cement to attach the sail arm and the pupil together. Since at the time, I didn’t think of an easier design.


While I was working on the voltage using the power supply, I was quite scared since I don’t want to burn it. Then with slow increase of the voltage, I found the best suitable voltage to make it move in a way you can still see the pupil is 8.3V. If I use higher voltage, it would move too fast and too blurry for viewing.

I am quite proud of this project since it is cute, takes less material, functions good.

Future Improvements

Only thing that I would be careful in the future is to make the small rectangles further away from the center rectangle. When I use zip tie to tie the motor through the rectangle, it sort of breaks some part of the wood in between the small rectangle and the center rectangle since they are too close to each other. In the future, I would also have a stop at the bottom to make the motor more leveled.

Published by Yiting Liu


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