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Warning: CHOKING HAZARD. Small Parts. Not for Children Under 3 yrs.
Hydraulic Arm
Build Guide
A guide for
building standard
and advanced
hydraulic arms
Hydraulic Arm

http://www.teachergeek.org/hydraulic_arm.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006
PAcI 2
Don’t think of this as a kit. Think of it as a bag full of endless solutions. Although
the end of this guide contains step-by-step instructions for creating a hydraulic
arm, we encourage you to try and develop new and different designs.
Because, in design and engineering, there is never one right answer…
TeacherGeek Easy Engineering Series products allow for great innovation and
alternative designs.
Because, your frst idea is rarely your best…
TeacherGeek Easy Engineering Series products are designed to be redesigned;
they allow you to quickly change and evolve your designs.
Because, possibilities are endless…
TeacherGeek Easy Engineering Components can be easily combined with other
materials and products (Recycling, wood, metal, broken toys, etc.)
“Kit” Can Be a Bad Word:
Other Documents That Could Help You With This Activity:
Document: Path: Access Code:
Easy Engineering Guide
teachergeek.org/easy_engineering_guide.pdf
No Code Required
Easy Engineering Ruler
teachergeek.org/ruler.pdf
No Code Required
Fluid Power Lab
teachergeek.org/fuid_power.pdf
No Code Required
Download
Dowels vary in diameter
because they are made of
wood. We have provided you
with extra dowels to make
up for dowels which may be
too large or too small to use.
*When constructing your
arm, only use dowels which
ft properly. Odd sized dowels
can be recyled and used on
other projects.
Design an arm that will:
· reach the greatest distance to deliver a given object
· pick up the heaviest possible object
· deliver the most objects in a given amount of time
· function in an assembly line
· have a system to weigh the object it picks up
· battle against another arm for an object
· rotate as well as reach and grab
· dig and recover objects
Hydraulic Arm Competition Ideas:
Overview
Hydraulic Arm

http://www.teachergeek.org/hydraulic_arm.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006
PAcI 3
Reaming Holes
The reamer creates a hole that dowels can
freely rotate in and slide through.
Easy Engineering™ Components come with holes made for a press ft.
Dowels and Holes
A press ft is one where the dowel is fxed and not
able to rotate or slide once it’s in the component
hole. A press ft is good for creating rigid structures.
Press fts are good for
structural connections.
Press fts are
good for gears,
pulleys and levers
that turn together
on the same
dowel (axle).
The Reamer creates a hole
that is larger than the dowel.
The dowel moves freely
in the loose ftting hole.
The crank and
pulley are press ft
(not reamed) on the
dowel so they turn
together.
The link strip holes that the
dowel needs to rotate in were
reamed to make them larger
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI 4
L
Pull and push the
reamer in and out
of the hole.
Turn the reamer
inside the hole.
To further enlarge a hole, as you ream
it, move the end of the reamer around
so it is not in line with the hole.
How to Ream Holes
Screws
Slide-Stop Material
Slide-Stop
Material keeps
dowels from
sliding back
and forth in
“loose” reamed
holes.
Slide-Stop Material comes in long lengths.
It must be cut into 6mm (~1/4”) sections
before it can be used.
Slide-Stop Material keeps components with “loose”
reamed holes from sliding back and forth on dowels.
Screws can be used to attach two
components together.
The hole the screw
will enter frst must be
reamed “loose.”
The hole the
screw will enter
second should
not be reamed.
Turn the screw into
both components.
*Be careful not
to over-tighten
the screw and
strip out the
bottom hole.
Tighten the screw
completely to
keep components
from rotating.
Leave the screw a ¼ turn from tight
to allow components to rotate/pivot.
OR
Easy Engineering Guide Excerpt
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI °
Step 1: Cut The dowels
300mm
Dowel
Length:
Dowel
Quantity:
30mm 1
65mm 1
85mm 3
100mm 1
130mm 2
140mm 1
300mm 6
Cut dowels to the given lengths.
300mm
300mm
300mm
300mm
300mm
140mm
130mm
130mm
100mm
85mm
85mm
85mm
Step 2: Cut The Link-Strips
=
30mm
30mm
270mm
270mm
C
u
t
3
0
m
m Link-strip
Length:
Link-strip
Quantity:
30mm 2
270mm 2
Cut two link-strips into 30mm and
270mm sections.
30mm
65mm
Screws
The Frame
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI o
Step 3: Assemble The Lower Arm Members
1
2
The Frame
Assemble the lower arm sections shown below.
Ream holes
A
and
B
.
300mm
300mm
300mm
300mm
50mm
40mm
A
B
1
2
Tip: Mark the reamed perpendicular adaptors so
you can easily tell which ones they are.
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI 7
Step 4: Assemble The Upper Arm Member
1
2
300mm
300mm
30mm
The Frame
22mm
50mm
D
Assemble the upper arm section shown below.
Ream hole
C
.
2
1
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI 8
Step 5: Put The Arm Members Together
65mm
C
A
B
D
140mm
E
1
3
2
1
2
Slide the upper arm (
C
) onto the 65mm dowel (
D
). Then slide dowel
D
into the
top of members
A
and
B
.
Slide the 140mm dowel (
E
) into the bottom of members
A
and
B
. Center
dowel E on members
A
and
B
, while keeping members
A
and
B
45mm apart.
Cut two 10mm sections of slide-stop material and place them outside of mem-
bers
A
and
B
on dowel
E
. Members
A
and
B
should still be 45mm apart.
3
Slide-stop Material
The Frame
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI 9
Step 6: Assemble The Base
270mm
270mm
130mm
130mm
F
G
H
I
E
Place link-strips
G
and
F
onto dowel
E
(dowel
E
from step 5). Dowel
E
should
extend 10mm past link-strips
G
and
F
.
Place 130mm dowels
H
and
I
in between link-strips
G
and
F
(as shown).
10mm
Step 6, Finished
1
2
1
2
The Frame
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI 1O
A
1
B
C
D
C
D
Step 7: Give It Legs
30mm
30mm
1
Ream holes
A
and
B
in the
30mm link-strips
C
and
D
.
Attach link-strips
C
and
D
to the base
by screwing them through reamed holes
A
and
B
.
2
Step 8: Assemble The Gripper Finger
65mm
B
A
Place 2 perpendicular adaptors, 65mm apart, on the 100mm dowel.
(as shown). Ream holes
A
and
B
in the perpendicular adaptor
which is in from the end of the dowel.
100mm
The Frame
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI 11
Step 9: Assemble The Gripper Body
85mm
85mm
85mm
10mm Create the gripper body using two perpendicular adaptors
and three 85mm dowels.
Step 10: Attach Gripper Body To The Upper Arm
Place the gripper body (
A
) on the end of the upper arm
member (
B
).
A
A
B
B
The Frame
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI 12
Slide gripper fnger
A
(from step 8) onto gripper body
B
.
If the gripper fnger does not slide freely on the dowels,
further ream the holes in the gripper fnger with a “loose”
reamer.
A
B
Congratulations!!! Your Arm Frame Is
Finished. Now Let’s Start The Hydraulics.
Caution: Wood dowels can not get wet. If they
become wet, they swell and cause joints to stick.
Step 11: Finish The Gripper
The Frame
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI 13
Step 12: Assemble The Hydraulic Cylinders
Syringe Mount
Large Syringe Clip
Small Syringe Clip
10cc Syringe
3cc Syringe
Control Panel
Step 13: Cut The Hydraulic Lines
75cm (~29.5”)
110cm (~43.5”)
Cut three sections of clear 1/8 I.D. vinyl tubing:
Food coloring can be added to better see the fuid fow through the hydraulic system.
Step 14: Put The Tubing and Cylinders into a Tub of Water
The Hydraulics
75cm (~29.5”)
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI 14
Push and pull the plungers to purge all air from the cylinders.
Step 15: Purge The Air From The Cylinders Perform this process
under water.
Fill the cylinders with water by completely
pulling back the plungers.
Attach tubing sections to the syringes on the control
side of the hydraulic system.
Leave the other end of the
tubing sections loose
Step 16: Fill Cylinders With Water Perform this process
under water.
Step 17: Attach Tubing (To The Control Panel) Perform this process
under water.
75cm (~29.5”)
110cm (~43.5”)
The Hydraulics
75cm (~29.5”)
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI 1°
Step 19: unattached Cylinders Should be Full of Water
Perform this process
under water.
Step 20: Connect The Unattached Cylinders Perform this process
under water.
Push in the plungers on
the control panel syring-
es. Leave them pushed
in.
Step 18: Purge Air From The Tubing Perform this process
under water.
Pull back the plungers and draw water into cylinders
that have no tubing connected to them.
Note: Keep the control panel
plungers pushed in.
The Hydraulics
75cm (~29.5”)
110cm (~43.5”)
75cm (~29.5”)
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI 1o
Move the plungers on the hydraulic cylinders. Do they have
enough throw (travel)? If not, you may need to place the hy-
draulic system back under water where you can pull the tubing
from a cylinder to add or remove water from the system.
Step 21: One Last Check
Step 22: Combine the Frame and Hydraulics
Slide perpendicular
adaptor
A
up, put
cylinder
C
into place,
then slide perpendicu-
lar adaptor
A
back.
A
A
C
C
Syringe “C” is colored yellow for this illustration.
B
B
D
D
Attach the hydraulic cylinders to
the frame.
*Some components
may need to be pulled
apart (then put back to-
gether) in order to attach
the hydraulic cylinders.
Zip ties can be used to organize
the tubing.
The Hydraulics
75cm (~29.5”)
110cm (~43.5”)
75cm (~29.5”)
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI 17
Sliding the perpendicular adaptors attached to the syringe mounts (
A
,
B
,
C
and
D
) changes
the travel/mechanical advantage of the arm.
Perpendicular adaptors
A
and
B
should always be horizontal with each other. Perpendicular
adaptors
C
and
D
should always be horizontal with each other.
D
C
A
B
Step 23: Adjust The Arm
Congratulations!!! Your Hydraulic Arm is Finished.
Syringe “C” is colored yellow for this illustration.
The Hydraulics
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI 18
Glycerin
Adding a small amount of glycerin to the water in your hydraulic lines
can keep cylinders from sticking after sitting without use.
Fixing a “Stuck” Gripper
4
Further enlarge the holes that the gripper
fnger slides on (same as step 8).
Add slide stop material to keep the gripper
from opening too far and getting stuck.
Try an alternative gripper fnger design.
Tips and Tricks
1
Push the plunger down into the syringe clip
(toward the gripper fngers).
2
3
Use two 37.5mm Link-strip
sections instead of the reamed
perpendicular adaptor.
Push Down
Hydraulic Arm

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PAcI 19
Using an Extra Syringe
Bleeding The Lines...
Air in the hydraulic lines will degrade the performance of your hydraulic
arm. There are a few ways to easily bleed the lines (get rid of the air).
By Pulling a Hose
Pull the air (from the
lines) into a cylinder.
Turn the cylinder so
its tip is its highest
point.
Remove the hydraulic
line (tubing) from the
cylinder.
Push the plunger so the
air is forced from the cyl-
inder. Stop pushing when
the water level reaches
the top of the cylinder tip.
Re-attach the hydraulic
line to the cylinder. *You
may need to push air
from the hydraulic line
before attaching it to the
cylinder.
1
3
2
4
5
This process requires an extra (loose) syringe.
Hold the loose syringe so it
is at the highest point in the
hydaulic system, with its tip
down. Push and pull it to col-
lect air in its chamber.
Fill a loose syringe with a
little water.
Detach a hydraulic line and
attach it to the loose syringe.
1
2
3
Push enough water out of the
loose syringe to adequately fll
the system.
Pull the loose syringe of the
hydraulic line. Re-attach the
hydraulic line to its original
cylinder.
4
5

wood.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 .Hydraulic Arm Overview ™ Page  “Kit” Can Be a Bad Word: Don’t think of this as a kit. Because.pdf teachergeek. they allow you to quickly change and evolve your designs.org/ruler. we encourage you to try and develop new and different designs. broken toys. We have provided you with extra dowels to make up for dowels which may be too large or too small to use.pdf teachergeek. Odd sized dowels can be recyled and used on other projects. etc. your first idea is rarely your best… TeacherGeek Easy Engineering Series products are designed to be redesigned. possibilities are endless… TeacherGeek Easy Engineering Components can be easily combined with other materials and products (Recycling.org/easy_engineering_guide. *When constructing your arm. only use dowels which fit properly.teachergeek. Think of it as a bag full of endless solutions. in design and engineering. Because. Although the end of this guide contains step-by-step instructions for creating a hydraulic arm.org/hydraulic_arm.org/fluid_power.pdf Access Code: No Code Required No Code Required No Code Required http://www. Other Documents That Could Help You With This Activity: Document: Easy Engineering Guide Easy Engineering Ruler Fluid Power Lab Path: Download teachergeek. metal. Because.) Hydraulic Arm Competition Ideas: Design an arm that will: · reach the greatest distance to deliver a given object · pick up the heaviest possible object · deliver the most objects in a given amount of time · function in an assembly line · have a system to weigh the object it picks up · battle against another arm for an object · rotate as well as reach and grab · dig and recover objects Dowels vary in diameter because they are made of wood. there is never one right answer… TeacherGeek Easy Engineering Series products allow for great innovation and alternative designs.

org/hydraulic_arm. Press fits are good for gears. The crank and pulley are press fit (not reamed) on the dowel so they turn together. Reaming Holes The reamer creates a hole that dowels can freely rotate in and slide through.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 .teachergeek. Press fits are good for structural connections. pulleys and levers that turn together on the same dowel (axle). http://www. A press fit is one where the dowel is fixed and not able to rotate or slide once it’s in the component hole. The link strip holes that the dowel needs to rotate in were reamed to make them larger The Reamer creates a hole that is larger than the dowel.Hydraulic Arm ™ Page  Dowels and Holes Easy Engineering™ Components come with holes made for a press fit. The dowel moves freely in the loose fitting hole. A press fit is good for creating rigid structures.

Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 Slide-Stop Material keeps components with “loose” reamed holes from sliding back and forth on dowels. Slide-Stop Material keeps dowels from sliding back and forth in “loose” reamed holes.Hydraulic Arm Easy Engineering Guide Excerpt ™ Page  How to Ream Holes Screws Screws can be used to attach two components together. move the end of the reamer around so it is not in line with the hole. as you ream it. To further enlarge a hole.teachergeek. Turn the screw into both components. Tighten the screw completely to keep components from rotating. *Be careful not to over-tighten the screw and strip out the bottom hole.pdf .” L Turn the reamer inside the hole. Slide-Stop Material Slide-Stop Material comes in long lengths. It must be cut into 6mm (~1/4”) sections before it can be used. Pull and push the reamer in and out of the hole. OR http://www. Leave the screw a ¼ turn from tight to allow components to rotate/pivot. The hole the screw will enter second should not be reamed.org/hydraulic_arm. The hole the screw will enter first must be reamed “loose.

Cut Link-strip Length: Link-strip Quantity: 30mm 270mm 2 2 = 30mm 30mm 270mm 270mm http://www.org/hydraulic_arm.Hydraulic Arm The Frame ™ Page  Step 1: Cut The dowels Cut dowels to the given lengths. 300mm 30mm 65mm 300mm 85mm 85mm 85mm 100mm 300mm 300mm 300mm 300mm Dowel Length: Dowel Quantity: 130mm 140mm 130mm 30mm 65mm 85mm 100mm 130mm 140mm 300mm 1 1 3 1 2 1 6 Step 2: Cut The Link-Strips 30mm Cut two link-strips into 30mm and 270mm sections.teachergeek.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 .

teachergeek. 2 1 300mm A 300mm 300mm B 300mm 40mm 50mm http://www.Hydraulic Arm The Frame ™ Page  Step 3: Assemble The Lower Arm Members 1 Assemble the lower arm sections shown below. Tip: Mark the reamed perpendicular adaptors so you can easily tell which ones they are.org/hydraulic_arm.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 . 2 Ream holes A and B .

teachergeek.org/hydraulic_arm. 2 Ream hole C .pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 . 1 2 30mm D 50mm 300mm 300mm 22mm http://www.Hydraulic Arm The Frame ™ Page  Step 4: Assemble The Upper Arm Member 1 Assemble the upper arm section shown below.

Center dowel E on members A and B . Members A and B should still be 45mm apart.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 . 3 Cut two 10mm sections of slide-stop material and place them outside of members A and B on dowel E .teachergeek.Hydraulic Arm The Frame ™ Page  Step 5: Put The Arm Members Together 1 Slide the upper arm ( C ) onto the 65mm dowel ( D ). 1 D 65mm C A B 2 140mm E 3 Slide-stop Material http://www. Then slide dowel D into the top of members A and B .org/hydraulic_arm. while keeping members A and B 45mm apart. 2 Slide the 140mm dowel ( E ) into the bottom of members A and B .

Dowel E should extend 10mm past link-strips G and F . 10mm 1 E 270mm G 130mm H 2 270mm F 130mm I Step 6.teachergeek. Finished http://www.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 .org/hydraulic_arm.Hydraulic Arm The Frame ™ Page  Step 6: Assemble The Base 1 Place link-strips G and F onto dowel E (dowel E from step 5). 2 Place 130mm dowels H and I in between link-strips G and F (as shown).

teachergeek.org/hydraulic_arm. (as shown). 65mm apart. Ream holes A and B in the perpendicular adaptor which is in from the end of the dowel. Step 8: Assemble The Gripper Finger Place 2 perpendicular adaptors.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 . 65mm A B 100mm http://www. 2 Attach link-strips C and D to the base by screwing them through reamed holes A and B . on the 100mm dowel.Hydraulic Arm The Frame ™ Page 10 Step 7: Give It Legs 1 A D C 30mm B D 30mm C 1 Ream holes A and B in the 30mm link-strips C and D .

pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 .org/hydraulic_arm.teachergeek. B B A A http://www.Hydraulic Arm The Frame ™ Page 11 Step 9: Assemble The Gripper Body Create the gripper body using two perpendicular adaptors and three 85mm dowels. 10mm 85mm 85mm 85mm Step 10: Attach Gripper Body To The Upper Arm Place the gripper body ( A ) on the end of the upper arm member ( B ).

further ream the holes in the gripper finger with a “loose” reamer. If the gripper finger does not slide freely on the dowels. they swell and cause joints to stick.Hydraulic Arm The Frame ™ Page 1 Step 11: Finish The Gripper Slide gripper finger A (from step 8) onto gripper body B . Now Let’s Start The Hydraulics. http://www.teachergeek.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 . Caution: Wood dowels can not get wet. If they become wet.org/hydraulic_arm. B A Congratulations!!! Your Arm Frame Is Finished.

vinyl tubing: 75cm (~29.teachergeek.5”) 110cm (~43. http://www.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 .org/hydraulic_arm.Hydraulic Arm The Hydraulics Step 12: Assemble The Hydraulic Cylinders Control Panel Large Syringe Clip ™ Page 1 Syringe Mount Small Syringe Clip 10cc Syringe 3cc Syringe Step 13: Cut The Hydraulic Lines Cut three sections of clear 1/8 I.5”) Step 14: Put The Tubing and Cylinders into a Tub of Water Food coloring can be added to better see the fluid flow through the hydraulic system.5”) 75cm (~29.D.

teachergeek.5”) Leave the other end of the tubing sections loose http://www. Attach tubing sections to the syringes on the control side of the hydraulic system.org/hydraulic_arm.5”) 110cm (~43. Perform this process under water.5”) 75cm (~29. Step 17: Attach Tubing (To The Control Panel) Perform this process under water. 75cm (~29. Step 16: Fill Cylinders With Water Fill the cylinders with water by completely pulling back the plungers. ™ Page 1 Perform this process under water.Hydraulic Arm The Hydraulics Step 15: Purge The Air From The Cylinders Push and pull the plungers to purge all air from the cylinders.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 .

™ Page 1 Perform this process under water.5”) 75cm (~29.teachergeek.5”) 110cm (~43. http://www. Note: Keep the control panel plungers pushed in. Perform this process under water.org/hydraulic_arm.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 . Step 19: unattached Cylinders Should be Full of Water Pull back the plungers and draw water into cylinders that have no tubing connected to them. Leave them pushed in.5”) Perform this process under water. Step 20: Connect The Unattached Cylinders 75cm (~29.Hydraulic Arm The Hydraulics Step 18: Purge Air From The Tubing Push in the plungers on the control panel syringes.

5”) B D B 75cm (~29.org/hydraulic_arm. http://www.Hydraulic Arm The Hydraulics Step 21: One Last Check Move the plungers on the hydraulic cylinders. put cylinder C into place. Do they have enough throw (travel)? If not.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 .5”) A C *Some components may need to be pulled apart (then put back together) in order to attach the hydraulic cylinders. D 75cm (~29. then slide perpendicular adaptor A back. C A Slide perpendicular adaptor A up. Syringe “C” is colored yellow for this illustration.5”) 110cm (~43. you may need to place the hydraulic system back under water where you can pull the tubing from a cylinder to add or remove water from the system.teachergeek. Zip ties can be used to organize the tubing. ™ Page 1 Step 22: Combine the Frame and Hydraulics Attach the hydraulic cylinders to the frame.

org/hydraulic_arm.teachergeek. Perpendicular adaptors A and B should always be horizontal with each other. Congratulations!!! Your Hydraulic Arm is Finished. B . C and D ) changes the travel/mechanical advantage of the arm.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 .Hydraulic Arm The Hydraulics ™ Page 1 Step 23: Adjust The Arm B A D C Sliding the perpendicular adaptors attached to the syringe mounts ( A . http://www. Perpendicular adaptors C and D should always be horizontal with each other.

Hydraulic Arm Tips and Tricks Glycerin Adding a small amount of glycerin to the water in your hydraulic lines can keep cylinders from sticking after sitting without use.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 . Use two 37. ™ Page 1 Fixing a “Stuck” Gripper Push Down 3 Further enlarge the holes that the gripper finger slides on (same as step 8). 4 Try an alternative gripper finger design.teachergeek. http://www. 1 Push the plunger down into the syringe clip (toward the gripper fingers). 2 Add slide stop material to keep the gripper from opening too far and getting stuck.5mm Link-strip sections instead of the reamed perpendicular adaptor.org/hydraulic_arm.

Push and pull it to collect air in its chamber. with its tip down. There are a few ways to easily bleed the lines (get rid of the air).org/hydraulic_arm. Air in the hydraulic lines will degrade the performance of your hydraulic arm. 2 Turn the cylinder so its tip is its highest point.teachergeek. Using an Extra Syringe This process requires an extra (loose) syringe. Stop pushing when the water level reaches the top of the cylinder tip. *You may need to push air from the hydraulic line before attaching it to the cylinder. http://www. 3 Remove the hydraulic 4 Push the plunger so the air is forced from the cylinder. little water.Hydraulic Arm Bleeding The Lines. 5 Re-attach the hydraulic line to the cylinder.pdf Copyright TeacherGeek © 2006 . line (tubing) from the cylinder.. Re-attach the hydraulic line to its original cylinder.. ™ Page 1 By Pulling a Hose 1 Pull the air (from the lines) into a cylinder. 2 Detach a hydraulic line and attach it to the loose syringe. 3 Hold the loose syringe so it is at the highest point in the hydaulic system. 1 Fill a loose syringe with a 4 Push enough water out of the loose syringe to adequately fill the system. 5 Pull the loose syringe off the hydraulic line.