Looking for cable joystick plans

I'm looking for plans to the multi axis joysticks used for puppeteering. Mr. Landon used it in the tutorial "cable mechanism basics." I looking for any plans, specification, or layouts on the device. Anything will be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.

Best Answers


  • Christopher VaughanChristopher Vaughan ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2014
    Hi Trevor, here are some photos of Richard Landon's axis controller from the lesson, i hope they help.
  • That is an enormous help. Thank you very much. However, do you know if there are any drawings with dimensions, CAD work ups, or anything to that extent?
  • David DeMattiaDavid DeMattia Saint Croix Falls, WI. ✭✭✭
    I've looked around on the net and have not been able to find any detailed plans for the joysticks. I think you might have to just approximate dimensions - do you own the tentical DVD's? They are a great starting point for designs.
  • Thank you so much for looking. I just wish I could get my hands on one and take measurements then make a 3d rendering. Lol, that would be the day.
  • Joseph HumpstonJoseph Humpston South Carolina, USA ✭✭
    I'm building some of these out of wood! I'll post a picture when I'm done! I'm using clothesline pulleys you can get in the hardware store. I've got them modified the way Richard Landon had the pulleys of his "quick and dirty" controller moded, but in a slight twist! Instead of being barrel crimped off, the ends of the cables are fastened into wire rope clamps like the one linked here:

  • David BoccabellaDavid Boccabella Brisbane, Australia Moderator
    They already have

    Towards the end they cover controllers.

  • Joseph HumpstonJoseph Humpston South Carolina, USA ✭✭
    what I meant was, they should show us how to machine the pulley-controller

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    While I'm sure it would make for a great lesson, machining is a pretty complex topic to cover and not everyone has access to the tools.

    The controller that is built in the lesson David linked to ( https://www.stanwinstonschool.com/tutorials/animatronic-tentacle-mechanism-basics ) uses off the shelf components, which is much more accessible.  Following that same basic design you could easily machine any of the components out of metal.

  • David DeMattiaDavid DeMattia Saint Croix Falls, WI. ✭✭✭
    An alternative to a manual joystick is to use Radio Control & servos. You can also program Adriunos with joystick or Pots to manually control servos without radio control, as well.
  • David BoccabellaDavid Boccabella Brisbane, Australia Moderator
    Fast Design Mode :)
    I am using acrylic but plywood will work as well.

    Cut 3 disks of acrylic   2 x 3" and 1 x 2.8inches.  Using the centering holes drill and bolt them together. If you cable is wider than the slot then add an extra 2.8inch disk.

    You have a pulley.

    Cut 2 strips of acrylic and bolt them to either side  of the pulley - you have a handle.

    Cut a larger strip and measure it as the base.. remembering that the final shape will be a 'U'.    Heat and bend the 'arms' up making sure the gap between the arms will fit the pulley and it's lever.
    Drill holes for an axle to hold the pulley.

    Bolt and secure to a strong base.  For an additional feature make up another pulley and bolt to the base of the 'U' so that it can swivel with the pulley also.

    Finally get a piece of heavy duty acrylic (or plywood. All the above CAN be made of wood  and drill holes for the cable access.. Mount and secure cable sleeve to so they will not slip.

    Thread wires and you have a 2 or 4 cable pulley system.

    Simple cable joystick done.

  • Joseph HumpstonJoseph Humpston South Carolina, USA ✭✭
    With plans to buy a 3d Printer within the next few months, I've recently designed a cable joystick of my own. If you have a 3d Printer and want to make a Joystick yourself, the Cad-files are linked here:


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