Articulating arms

I’ve been planning to do some experimenting with articulating arms for various things like holding monitors and so on around the shop. This is the result of my very first experiment tonight, cut out of 1/2" plywood with some 3/8" bolts, washers, and wingnuts.

Feels ridiculously solid, even laterally. I think the biggest potential trouble spot is the bracket, but I’ll do some experimenting with that to see how well it works. Could double or even triple up if it becomes an issue.

I made the Easel file I’m using public in case anyone else wants to play around with the idea. It’s mostly just a random collection of parts to fill out the plywood scrap I was cutting, but it gets you all the pieces I used.

Would love to hear experiences from anyone else doing similar things.


Looks fantastic, no matter what, I’m in love with anything comes out of Plywood. Great job Mark.

I have had a picture of this is my “want to make” folder for a long time. Looks like you are on the right track to get there.

1 Like

Wow, that lamp design is gorgeous. Now I have something to shoot for eventually once I get past my crude heavy duty arms. :smile:

1 Like

That’s Laser cut. Lamp house details might be the problem.

Here is what I really need.

I found this here:
I cannot find any plans or detailed descriptions (or even other pictures)

How do we get the plans to build it?



Sign on at Fusion 360 or and design one for your self. You can build the parts and an assembly that you can move to make sure it articulates correctly then you can use the CAM that comes with Fusion or you can export DXF files from Onshape and use CamBam free to try for your CAM.
This would be a good learning exercise for both programs. You have a good shot of that extrusion that looks to be a 40X120 so that gives a good reference for size.


Dave, I have not used F360 to build an assembly yet, this would be a good learning exercise. My initial thought was I would need to re-engineer all the linkages since I had no idea about the lengths of each arm. But you make a good point about using the known size of the extrusion to estimate the other dimensions.

Do you have any suggestions for a good place to start leaning about assembly’s in F360?


I’m sorry but I do not use fusion. I have herd good things about it but when I tried it I just could not get my head around how they were doing things after all my years using Alibre/Geomagic. I have done some tests of and there assemblies. It works much the same as Solidworks and Alibre/geomagic. It is totally free for hobby users only has some file size limitations.
One thing that Onshape has going for it is there constraints in assemblies they are supper simple. They also let you set movement limits so if a part is only suppose to move 30 degrees that is all it moves and then stops.

As far as I can see anything is better than Easel.


I use Vcarve for the vast majority of my design and toolpath. I have also used Sketchup for 3D design and then import the model into Vcarve for toolpath.

@AllenMassey I had the same question about Fusion. Finally I just in the last couple days started slogging through the tutorials. There are also some good tutorials on YouTube. They move very quickly so I pause often. I am not sure I have the capacity to learn this PLUS fully utilize vcarve but the 3D capability and assembly capabilities are really exciting.

When I watched the video that Patrick Rainsberry created explaining machine zero and work zero I was very impressed with the X-Carve assembly that he built in Fusion (at least I assume it Fusion). I have wanted to understand how that is done, but have not had the time (or room in my brain) to get started so far.

On the plus side, I feel that I am getting pretty good with Vcarve!

Inventables published the 3D models.

How do you convert that assembly into an articulated model?

I like this one. I’ll give it a try. Moving parts and articulating looks simple.

One of the interesting thing about OnShape is if 2 or more people want to work on a design, they can do that with ease. If I start a design and then share the design with another person we can both work on the design and don’t have to email files back and forth. If I make a change or addition to the design at 12pm and you log in at 4pm you will see the change or addition. You can then make more changes or additions and I will see them when I log on at 5pm. No emails no confusion.

I have downloaded various parts from inventables and loaded them into my CAD program where I can change them and use them in an assembly. Case in point the Y axis end plates that I made 50mm taller and 20mm wider. Then I imported the model into my CAM program and generated Gcode to machine them on my CNC mill.


1 Like

Hello I work for a charity who make bespoke disability equipment and we designed and made an articulating easel in 2011/12 you can watch our film here its been life changing for our clients

Hi-I’m handicapped and would very much like an articulated easel. Would it be possible to purchase one from your company?

Hi Emily,
Thank you for your email.

Yes our articulating easels are available to buy online here please email me if you need any further advice or have any specific equipment needs our charity can help you with.

Kind regards