The Mighty Lip Balm Linear Actuator

Make one from a Blistex tube, mini hobby servo, and an aluminum shaft.

Written by MATT PEICK


Nate Van Dyke

I needed a small linear actuator (a mechanism for creating motion in a straight line) for a project and was finding only oversized or cost-prohibitive solutions. Industrial automation actuators have plenty of muscle but rarely come in small packages. Hobby linear actuators come with a smaller footprint but can be costly. I’ve often wondered about the load capacity of the screw and nut contained in a standard lip balm tube, so I collected all the lip balm tubes I could find and started testing.

One stood ...

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