BCN3D MOVEO – A fully Open Source 3D printed robot arm




BCN3D Technologies keeps taking important steps in order to achieve his goal of bringing the digital manufacturing technology to everyone. In this occasion we are presenting the BCN3D Moveo, a robotic arm design from scratch and developed by our engineers in collaboration with the Departament d’Ensenyament from the Generalitat de Catalunya. Its structure is fully printed using additive manufacturing technologies and its electronics are controlled by the software Arduino.

Moveo, fully functional nowadays, has been born, as all the BCN3D Technologies products, with an open and educational wish.

Why BCN3D Moveo

One of the Departament d’Ensenyament worries is the high price of the materials the grade students must use on their internships. Holding that in mind, an Open Source robotic arm, adaptable by the students and low cost reproducible could take several educational itineraries: mechanical design, automatism, industrial programing, etc.

Thus, the BCN3D Moveo should allow the educational centers to enjoy a modifiable and easily accessible for the students, at a price far lower than the usual industrial equipment they used to have to acquire, with enough output for training purposes.

As a Fundació CIM area, BCN3D Technologies shares its educational vocation. That is the reason why when the Departament d’Ensenyament contacted us in order to suggest and offer this project a year ago we didn’t hesitate on taking that opportunity.

Once we had the robotic arm designed and manufactured we started the last phase of the project, which consisted on an assembling and fine tuning workshop for 15 institutes around Catalonia, which took place in the BCN3D Technologies.

These institutes already have the BCN3D Moveo in their classrooms and workshops, and will have to present an internship program that proves their knowledge about the arm during September.




Open Source Technology: Github

As we have done with all our developed produtcs, the BCN3D Moveo files will be available for everyone. Thanks to the platform Github, a website where users around the world share their designs, anyone will be able to obtain all the necessary information in order to assemble his own BCN3D Moveo at home.

Unlike the other BCN3D products, the Moveo won’t be commercialized. The project has been born and developed in order to make a move for the community progress starting from the Departament d’Ensenyament idea.

Nevertheless, BCN3D will fee all the Moveo know how on our Github account, as we have been doing with all the BCN3D Technologies products. Thus, the users will be able to find the bill of material (BOM), where all the needed components for the assembling of the arm come detailed, as the CAD designs, so anyone will be able to modify the BCN3D Moveo design as they wish.

Furthermore, the Github users will find the STL files for the structure printing and the assembling, fine tuning and firmware upload manuals, which will be available both in English and Spanish.

Thanks to this project motivated by the Departament d’Ensenyament and developed by BCN3D Technologies everyone will be able to fabricate their own robotic arm at home, no highly technical knowledge needed. Therefore, we encourage you to fabricate the BCN3D Moveo and share the results on the social networks using the hashtag #BCN3DMoveo.

54 Responses to “BCN3D MOVEO – A fully Open Source 3D printed robot arm”

  1. Your inspire me! I started printing my first parts of the Moveo yesterday. I have bought and have not received a commercial ABB robotic arm to be used for Cnc cutting in the ups calling of sculptures that we cast in bronze. Now I can use the Moveo to learn about Cnc robots before the arrival of our ABB robot. I wish you the best of luck.

  2. Hi
    Great job, I started printing and place orders for All component in Aliexpress, was easy to find almost all,
    is there any wiring instruction?

    • Hi
      Thank you! No there isn’t. There is only one page (37) where you can find the stepper motor driver connections.

    • Hi,
      This is a great idea. But i tried to order the components from Aliexpress.
      I didnt find the stepper motors. Please inform me the exact addresses..

  3. Eduardo Souza August 5, 2016 at 07:02

    I’m building the Moveo and after looking at the manual noticed that it has 6 stepper drivers but the RAMPS has only 5 stepper driver ports. Is the gripper the axis 6? How do i get the step, direction, enable, ground signals from RAMPS?
    This is a great project and I’d love to play and learn from it.

    • Hi Eduardo,

      The gripper is not the sixth articulation :). In most 3D printers the z-axis uses the same signal for the two motors it needs. The BCN3D Moveo uses the same system for the second articulation. On the upper face of the ramps 1.4 you can see the five drivers connectors. As you can see on the back of drivers, on the ramps drivers connectors there’s a lot of silkscreened names. Among them you will find the signal, the direction and the enable connectors.

      • Thanks for the reply. I have Joint one and two assembled. Making progress.
        I will try to use the Azteeg X3 Pro. It’s got eight stepper ports. Will have to figure the pins.

  4. Regarding the Stepper motors from you BOM sheet:

    STEPPER NEMA 17 60mm
    Nema 23, 112mm, Ø8mm flat shaft
    Nema 14 36mm -SM35HT36-1004A
    Nema 17 34mm

    are the 60mm, 112mm, 36mm, 34mm stepper LENGTHS? Steppers are purchased by step degrees and torque specs (in/oz), not lengths. Can you give more accurate stepper descriptions? Your exact model numbers (like SM35HT36-1004A) would be more helpful. Thanks!

  5. i cloned the git repo. i only see a spanish user manual. when will you upload the english manual?

  6. alexis boufflet August 26, 2016 at 18:18

    Ce projet me plait beaucoup je voudrais savoir si vous aller commercialiser un pack contenant toute les pièce robotique ou alors la possibilité de les acheter a une seul et même endroit ?

    • Hi Alexis,
      For now, we are not selling this kit as a product and it is not our intention.

      • D’accord je comprend, Serrait il alors possible d’obtenir une nomenclature plus précise en français car je n’arrive pas a avoir la référence précise de chaque pièce sur celle disponible.

  7. Amazing work ! Nice to give it as open source !
    Question BTW : what software do you use to control it ?

  8. Hi there, it is great to see this open source project. Is it possible to buy them in either kit form or – preferably – ready assembled ? I’d like to use and support open hardware but am very short on time to do my own builds right now, but might have cash around to pay someone else to do it for me.

  9. Quina es la seqüencia en G-code per inclinar el canell?
    Al canviar de Tool 0 al Tool 1 del pronterface, marlin respon dient que no es pot activar Tool 1 tot i tenir posat al pronterface-setting-options-extruders=count 2

  10. What is the minimum size (Printing Area) of the 3D Printer to be able to Print this Robot?

  11. Hello,
    congratulations for the wonderful project.
    I downloaded all the files to build Moveo education.
    Can you tell me what raw materials are printed the robot parts?

    Thank you

  12. hello
    I would like make a BCN3D MOVEO. But I don’t found the wiring plan with the arduino and the tb6560 driver.
    mathieu bouchiquet

  13. Hi! What is the maximum payload weight that it can handle? Very nice design!!

    • I just finished mine, so I can tell you: The payload is unfortunately quite low. The reason is that the stepper on the last joint (a NEMA 17) is a bit too weak. Even using it at 3Amps full step, which is much more than the recommended current of 1Amp is not enough to lift more than 100g. I’m considering reworking on the 3D files in order to add a gearbox to this motor, it doesn’t need much speed, what it needs is torque. There is another problem about the design of the rotating arm, (the joint which is just before the one I just mentionned, which has the motor completely enclosed inside the forearm) which could be better. On this joint, I already modified my plastic part to put a bigger motor but it still doesn’t seem to be enough and I’m sometimes missing stepd, without any load. These two parts could be improved. The bottom half of the robot is quite powerful, especially since I’ve put much bigger motors than recommended. I hope the team of Moveo, which did a great job so far already, will investigate into these problems and come up with a better version. But to be fair, they did the biggest part of the job, the tweaking is up to us 🙂

  14. bonjour
    j’ai telechargé le manuel du BCN3D MOVEO mais je ne trouve pas le schéma de cablage entre l’arduino et les carte tb6560. ou peut on le trouvé ?

  15. Have you been able to make any progress on a wiring diagram? Also, do you have any details on the individual belt lengths to use?

    • The wiring diagram is no big deal actually, do not worry too much about that. The belts were indeed a pain in the ass, they mention 180cm of belts but in my case it was short by at least 20cm. I recommend you to buy at least 220 cm to be safe. As for the individual lenghts, it was trial and error, which took a fair bit of time, would have been nice to have the correct lenghts in the BOM. I cannot really check the lenghts for you since I would have to disassemble all the robot now, sorry…You’ll have to try and find out yourself…

  16. Hi

    Great project! Printing and assembling at full speed here, but i have one question. How is the servo gripping the servo gear on the tool head? On the part (“Servo Gear.stl”) there are two additional holes and the center hole that holds a screw. Is it supposed to be an additional part here? Because if i tighten the center screw onto the servo shaft, it will compress against the top plate, and to loose isn’t working either. I tried to add a protrusion to the gear so it goes over the servo shaft, but its slipping no matter what i try to do.

  17. Hi, has anyone built this already and can give an approximate cost for the whole thing? I do not have access to a 3d printer and would therefore need to pay for 3d printing services.

    • Hi, for the cost it will greatly depends on where you live…. I used a total of 3 kilos of PLA (here, one kilo costs 3 bucks), All the motors cost me about 70$, the motor drivers about 10$. Add some wires, a servo, screws, etc, so about 100$ in my case. But I live in a country where purchasing these kind of parts is very inexpensive so it might be quite a bit more if you live in the US or in Europe. I think if you don’t own a 3D printer it will probably cost you a lot, so I would recommend you to build a 3D printer first.

  18. Hello, I’m about to start the printing of the parties, I would like to know if there is any recommendation regarding the recommended print parameters, infill? layer height? perimeters?
    I congratulate you and greetings!

    • The setup I used for most parts was 3 perimeters, 25% infill, 0,2 mm layer height. The sturdiest parts needs to be the base and generally the bottom of the robot, so you may want to do less infill and/or perimeters on the top parts to keep them lighter, except for the gripper which needs to be sturdy.

  19. Bravo for your project and thank you for sharing. You can specify the reference of stepper motors? thank you

    • The reference of the steppers motors are in the BOM file on Github. But I would recommend you to use much stronger motors, the ones mentionned are too weak. The only ones that are valid are the one with the gearbox and the one for the rotational platform. Look for motors that have more torque/support more current/have a bigger lenght.

      • Thank you for your reply. But it is not detailed enough to determine more powerful.

        • Well, just check the BOM file. You will have different motor sizes (NEMA 14, NEMA17, etc). These sizes are standard. The motor power is defined by the motor lenghts, so the longer they are, the more powerful they are. In my case, I ve bought the longest I ‘ve found. The motors mentionned in the BOM are far too weak. The NEMA 14 is not powerful enough to lift anything, it is barely able to lift the weight of the claw without missing steps. The NEMA 17 of the rotating wrist is far too weak too, in most cases the wrist cannot turn under its own weight… I’ve changed the design of a few parts in order to use some gearboxes, which turns out to work much better. I’m currently working on these and will post them on moveo forum if I’m satisfied with these.

          Meanwhile, I suggest you try and experiment, it is pointless to build this thing just by following the instructions, you will learn almost nothing this way. For now you can at least print and build the bottom parts 🙂

          (PS: I’m not a member of moveo project, just a random guy who built one)

  20. Dear Moveo Team.
    Could you please release a working firmware of some sort? the only firmware I’ve seen so far is a modified Marlin firmware, but:
    -The second extruder was not even activated, so it was only possible to move 4 axis
    -The motors that are connected to the extruder ports behave weirdly, because the extruder doesn’t work the same way a normal axis does
    -It kind of sucks to control it via pronterface or repetier, since it only allow very basic moves at once, and it’s far from being user friendly
    -It would be much better if we could control the arm using joystics
    That’s basically what I’m trying to achieve, but since I really suck at programming I have quite a truggle to do so.

    Do you work on anything on this subject? Do you have any other firmware you could recommend that could control the 5 axis and the gripper?
    Thanks in advance, hope I could get a reply

    • To make it work you need to edit configuration.h file with a text editor.
      I changed the following:

      Line 47 originally said: #define MOTHERBOARD 33
      changed it to: #define MOTHERBOARD 34

      Line 58 origianlly said: #define EXTRUDERS 1
      Changed it to: #define EXTRUDERS 2

      That is all I changed to get the second extruder working.

  21. Hi,

    Can I buy all the printed plastic parts and electronic parts from you?
    Or is there anyone who sells them as a package?
    I need to test it first, before I spend too much time finding it is not I was looking for.
    Anyway, it is a great project.
    Thank you.

  22. Amazing! Its genuinely amazing piece of writing, I have got much clear idea on the topic
    of from this article.

  23. Finally a software and firmware to control the zortrax or moveo robotic arm.
    14days trial. US25 per software. Please support me. Thanks.


    -Can control two arduino mega with ramps1.4. A total of 12axis.
    -12axis can be played in a single gcode file.
    -Why 12 axis? Normally a 6axis robotic arm is not sufficient to solve real world problem.
    So, the extended axis are used to assist the robotic arm to perform task.
    -Use joystick to control.
    -Support two types of gripper. Magnetic and servo.
    -Auto recording of gcode.
    -Can play line by line of gcode and delete a single line of gcode.
    -Can save and playback unlimited gcode file.

    Download the software and firmware at

  24. I have the Moveo assembled – but really clear that the holding torque of the steppers (even the nema 23’s is not high enough). Has anyone found driver settings that can increase the holding power? If not this arm is very hard to use…

  25. Hi,
    I will start to assemble the robot arm.
    Is there anyone who can give more detailed documents.
    I need more information about stepper motors (perhaps motors with more torque) and the programming of the arduino.


  26. Hi to everybody

    AMAZING job is already done and hope that all the community can reach the target of
    a complete ROBOT print using 3d printer in a near futur!!!

    I give for all of you some very good upgrade very usefull and CHEAP!!!


    They have made there own arm robot using a very clever way to have the X Y Z rotation becauce all the motor are only in the base of the arm so the arm is very light and can take until 0.75 KG of charge!!!

    Arm robot:

    Close loop stepper motor:


    I’m sure that in less than 6 month this robot will be the REFERENCE in the world!!!


  27. Bonjour

    Est il possible d’acheter ce bras robot en kit ?
    Pour l’instant nous n’avons pas mes moyen de l’imprimer..

    A bientôt

    Pierre-André Marechal
    Professeur des Universités
    AgroSup Dijon – UBFC
    Recherche :UMR PAM
    Enseignement : Dpt SPI

    tel : +33 380774012 (0380774012)
    mob : +33 638319493 (0638319493)
    site internet :

  28. moveo robotic arm with motor control and extended axis demo

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