Tools / Materials

First on our tool list is the "Magic Wand" of crafting. This little guy, whom I affectionately refer to as Stanley, is a low-temp hot glue gun (recommend for crafters of all ages).
Next, we will need something to measure with; calipers or a good ruler. Metal ones are nice or you could give the shiny Adafruit 6" Ruler a go!

Remember, measure twice - cut once.

Regardless of construction material, making small adjustments here and there is likely. For this, a hobby knife is ideal. A pair of scissors may also be helpful if your primary construction material is paper-based.

When it comes time to assemble some of the mechanical bits, have a pair of pliers and screwdriver nearby.

Let's move-on to the materials we'll need to construct the robot chassis / body.

Chassis Fantastic

I've printed mine out of PLA on a 3D printer... as I mentioned before this is just one approach. Alternatively, you could use foam-core presenter / poster board, 1/8 inch plywood, 3mm acrylic, or cardboard. I constructed my first models using foam dinner plates.

When you're done, you should have a pile of flat parts ready to assemble.

Easy Hardware

I've kept hardware requirements simple, limiting the list to items that your local home improvement or craft store should have plentiful supply of.
  • 35mm x 10mm round compression springs
  • 10mm M3 screws
  • 12mm small wood screws
  • #10 O-Rings
Compression springs can be expensive. Consider coiling a large paperclip around a pencil to create your own for just a few pennies each.

Classic Connectors

There are a few 'connectors' you'll have to make for the arms, legs, and servos. You can 3D print them or make them out of Sugru, FIMO, Sculpey, or Apoxie Sculpt.

Magnificent Magnets

If you plan on putting electronics into your robot, now is the time to think about access panels.

You can go the fancy route and use neodymium magnets in the corners of the front and back of the body... I purchased a package of 100 1/8 x 1/16 inch rare earth magnets from Amazon for a few dollars.

Or, you could go the craft rivet / paper fastener route.
Neodymium magnets can damage magnetic media and electronics that are sensitive to strong magnetic fields. Also, small magnets pose a choking hazard and should never be swallowed or inserted into any part of the body.
Time to roll up your sleeves... and fire-up Stanley (the low-temp hot glue gun).
This guide was first published on Oct 13, 2013. It was last updated on Oct 13, 2013. This page (Tools / Materials) was last updated on May 05, 2019.