3 Axis Skulls


In 2009 I did a lot of work learning basic animatronics with a three axis skull design from Grave Yard Skulls. A three axis skull can so whatever the human skull can do in the way of movement. It can nod its head, rotate left and right and tilt from side to side. The jaw is synchronized with the voice sound track. I use VSA to program the movements, each routine takes about 5-10 hours to perfect.

This routine is my Drunken Pirate


3 Axis Skull

This is my 3 Axis Skull. It is based upon designs by HalloweenBob. It will eventually end up in at least four of my skeletons.

I eventually had to drill a hole in the bracket the the ball joint attaches to to allow the Nod servo full rotation. I was hitting the bracket.

  The jaw servo arm in this photo is attached going the wrong way. I found this out when the jaw would close with voice, not open.

This is one of the test routines that I am using. I am using VSA by Brooksihire Software to control the rotate, nod, tilt and jaw servos.

The jaw servo needs to be set up so that fully closed is the minimum value for the servo.


Lindburg Skull with Graveyard Skulls parts

All of my current skull projects are using Lindburg Skulls and parts from Graveyard Skulls. Graveyard Skulls makes a very good product.
I did run into a problem. When I built the 3 axis skull according to the plans it was VERY nose heavy.

This is what I did to help alleviate the problem

  I have never been accused of being small. When I was a kid on the teeter totter they had to move the fulcrum point so I could ride it with the smaller kids.... that is what I did.
I move the "A Frame" to the front side of the plate....effectively moving the fulcrum. I drilled and tapped four new holes for the plate.
  Mounting the "A Frame" in front caused a problem with mounting the servos, so I made a minor modification to the servos.... I cut off their little toes.... and I reversed the rotate and tilt servos 180 degrees.
  This allowed me to mount the "A Frame" in front as well as the servos.
  It is still a little nose heavy, however I believe that can be fixed with a little lead. The nod servo is not working as hard.

This is a sample of the shaft that everything moves on. It is made from 3/8" stock


The is the layout of MY servos and what channel they run on in my VSA routines.

Since they were rotated for better balance MY VSA routine MAY be reversed from other peoples routines that have not rotated the servos.


My eight channel servo controller board a
Mini SSC II.

I use the following channels

Channel # Function
0 Rotate 1
1 Nod 1
2 Tilt 1
3 Jaw 1
4 Rotate 2
5 Nod 2
6 Tilt 2
7 Jaw 2

I have plans for a 32 channel servo controller

A couple of the final products
Darkness Falls

Two Skulls

This routine involves two three axis skulls, the only difference is that the audio track needed to be split and a second skull had to programmed