# How to convert vertical motion to horizontal?

I am interested in using this miniature motor Squiggle Micro Motor to create very tiny horizontal movements. However, due to very limited space, I can only place it vertically within my project.

Assuming this motor is placed as follows, how can one adapt it to simultaneous movement at a right angle? (Ideally with the X-axis movement matched to the Y-axis movement as well as possible.)

• Just for reference, i am using lego with my motors, and asked the exact same question over at bricks.SE bricks.stackexchange.com/questions/2172/… - it's answered, maybe the idea can be transfered to metal pieces? – bogen Jul 5 '13 at 8:23
• Look at robotics.stackexchange.com/questions/1515/… - can you guess the solution? – ott-- Jul 5 '13 at 15:25
• When it comes to "very limited space", how does that affect the available space for whatever mechanical linkage might be used? This may be a question for a more mechanical StackExchange. – Ian Jul 5 '13 at 17:10
• You can do it with a cam ( cs.cmu.edu/~rapidproto/mechanisms/chpt6.html#HDR91 ) – Guy Sirton Jul 5 '13 at 21:34
• @Hakonbogen: Thank you. That gives me a couple of ideas. – boardbite Jul 8 '13 at 13:48

If this is true linear motion (non-rotational) then you will need some sort of a pivoting linkage in between the two units to transfer one motion to the other. Something like this would probably work:

As the lower link moves vertically, it rotates the red gear which in turn pushes the second link horizontally.

However, given that your image shows more of a screw type link, I feel like the lower link will be rotating (correct me if I'm wrong here). In that case, then a different approach would need to be taken - at least, a rotational ball joint would need to be used to attached the rotating unit to any linkage.

• The lower link will indeed be rotating. – boardbite Jul 7 '13 at 11:39
• I thought so, in that case, you would need a swivel ball joint on the top of it to allow the lower link to rotate but the upper link remain stationary. – Kurt E. Clothier Jul 7 '13 at 23:57

The mechanism suggested in the previous answer is a form of four-bar linkage. A bell crank is a slightly simpler form of basically the same thing. You could push on one side of a bell crank with the end of the motor shaft, and use a spring return for the other direction if it is difficult to attach to the shaft. (The shaft apparently rotates, but the Squiggle motors site doesn't say if it does or doesn't, and the pictures, videos, and technical drawing PDF files are not clear on this point.)

Also consider using a flexible-wire push-pull control cable, or a push cable with spring return; or push a wedge up to produce cam action.

• Nice, I couldn't come up with the terms, just the picture in my head. – Kurt E. Clothier Jul 7 '13 at 7:02
• I didn't clarify: Yes, the shaft does indeed rotate. – boardbite Jul 7 '13 at 11:39

I think a more compact and reliable solution would be to use a third shaft that is perpendicular to the other two (on the Z-axis)

Given the shaft moving up/down is moving on the Y-axis and the shaft moving left/right is moving on the X-axis.

This crude diagram should explain things better.

As the motor turns Shaft A upwards it then turns Shaft C. Shaft C then moves Shaft B left and right

The addition of Shaft C would make this vertical to horizontal conversion precise and compact.

Note that the only rotating parts are Shafts A and C. Shaft B would only move left and right.

And unlike Kurts answer there's no need for messy joints at the end of each shaft.

• If shaft A is threaded at a pitch P consistent with the module of C, and moves distance P per full rotation, then C does not move when A rotates. If it were the case that A moved up and down without rotating (which it isn't) then this mechanism would work. – James Waldby - jwpat7 Dec 2 '14 at 15:53

Scott-Russell type mechanism. For weeks I was trying to come up with a solution for that exact problem for a engineering project mine. Look it up.

• Sorry Mauricio, but very short answers like this are unlikely to help future visitors. Looking up Scott Russell linkages suggests applications in the automotive industry which may not be applicable to the tiny movements being asked about. Please expand your answer detailing why you think this type of linage might be suitable. – Mark Booth Oct 27 '14 at 16:08

To make a 89 degree turn you need a miter gear. Amazon has a plastic one that is approximately 2 inches (5 cm) across the face This is by Boston Gear GP1632Y Miter Gear, 0.500" Bore, 1:1 Ratio, 20 degree Pressure Angle, 16 Pitch, 32 Teeth, Molded Nylon. there is another one shown with a 1 inch face and a 14 degree pressure angle and 14 teeth. Miter gears always need to be purchased in pairs to mesh properly. This can be used by attaching a small motor or a manual crank to activate the mechanism you are trying to move.