Doc Ock, (part 1)

Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts.

Doc Ock. (Spider-Man, 2004)


As we have seen before, my vacuum chamber is compact. That has benefits and drawbacks.


  • Quick vacuum: Less volume means less time to achieve working pressure.
  • Easy to mantain and clean.
  • No need for expensive feedthroughs for power (because glass wall isolates A-K)


  • Limited space.
  • One experiment at a time, posible contamination between changes of target.

Of course, the volume is the one it is, that can’t be changed, however I can do some things to manipulate the contents of the chamber and outperform bigger chambers.


Glass & Magnets: Trollscience.

Making feedthroughs for vacuum is no easy task, materials must be taken into consideration, as well as the air-tightness of the interface. Since I’m already into glassworks, I have an extended range of materials to choose from, making it a bit easier.

With 10mm separation, it’s possible to make full turns without stage interference (magnet-magnet through glass force being much greater than the interaction between heights.

It should look like this once finished:


  • Internal magnet supports: Teflon
  • Axles: Stainless steel with HVAC grease to inhibit galling.
  • External actuation, probably 3D printed in PLA.

The external means of actuation must provide independent rotation for each axle AND whole assembly vertical displacement. It will either be purely mechanical or probably, servo driven for more flexibility in controls placement. But it is trivial in comparison to the rest.


The other end of the magnetic stick.

Or when small, can be too small (but still work).


It is obvious that laparoscopy is the main inspiration here, with some really cool, purely mechanical setups. Keep in mind, tough, that the angular requirements and constraints we face are somewhat different, plus we don’t need some of the capabilities of those efectors.
After a succesful simple joint test, I jumped into the whole arm design:

It’s a SCARA arm with a nonrotating wrist (just side to side).

Assembly process:

Nested axles and actuactor cables:

Glory to the all-reaching hand!

@0:13 – Bitchslap!

Bad printing in the hand section prevented me from testing the gripper, but seriously, if you are not impressed by now, go fuck off.
With this I should be able to perform elaborate tasks WHILE under vacuum. I can have racks inside the chamber for target and substrate change and can try simple masking too.

  • Axle diameter, 1,5mm
  • Biggest arm diameter, 4mm
  • Total lengt, 50mm
  • Actuator wires 0,2mm

It will be built slightly bigger in stainless, with teflon axles and braided stainless steel cables. And yes, the most important thing, I will put TWO of these inside, because who doesn’t want to stick their hand in the sun?

Seriously, it’s going to be fucking EPIC.


One response to “Doc Ock, (part 1)

  1. Pingback: Tiny Vacuum Chamber Arm to Help with Homemade Semiconductors | Hackaday

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