Gripper 3.0 Manufacturing Problem – Request Replacement Parts!

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We’re a bit embarrassed! We continually talk about our Made in the USA focus and how our Gripper 3.0 product showcases this effort, but we goofed up on several parts. Customers who ordered a Gripper between the beginning of March through the end of June 2021 will find that it doesn’t assemble like you’d expect from a CNC-machined aluminum kit. Instead of smoothly fitting parts, you’d find they don’t quite fit together and operate the way they should, like they do in the video above.

At the bottom of this post we’ll tell you how to request replacement parts.

What went wrong?

We made a change to the fixture that holds the Gripper Arm (#720-00029) so we could manufacture “two up” by making a mirror of the part instead of a copy. This created two different Gripper Arms and they should actually be the same, like the one shown on the left, below. With the hollow side up, the lowest tooth should be on the left for both arms.

Additionally, one of our CNC milling machines was having a spindle issue with bearing wear and the Gripper Base (#700-00028) parts were coming out oversized. This caused the gear teeth to have a physical conflict with the single gear. Having made this part many other times, we weren’t verifying the dimensions and fit along the way. Though it is hard to see the issue before assembly, this part needs to be replaced.

Pro Tips for Your Assembly

When you rebuild your Gripper 3.0, the middle gear (Idler Gear) shown in the picture below may be inserted two ways. There’s a minor amount of “tool deflection” that causes some angled draft on the Idler Gear. If it doesn’t fit smoothly, just turn it over and try the other way.

Another tip: if your parts fitment is too snug when you put them onto the three Arm posts, A small piece of fine sandpaper can be rolled and used to increase the center holes diameter on the Base, Arm, and Finger parts.

Request Replacement Parts from Us

I believe we shipped out just under 100 kits with these problems. If you received a kit with these problems, please contact our sales team ( and request the Gripper 3.0 replacement parts. We will send you the following for no charge:

  • 720-00029 (qty 2) Gripper Arm
  • 720-00028 (qty 1) Gripper Base
  • 725-00022 (qty 1) 90* Torsion Spring

We’re sorry for the inconvenience. Thankfully we manufacture all of these parts and don’t rely on a kit from overseas, so we can remedy this issue quickly.

Ken Gracey

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Kudo’s Ken and your team. I’ve built robots for competitions throughout the years. I won’t mention any by name but one starts with “Battle” and end with “Bots”. It one thing to have issue and mistakes but another when you admit and fix it with details like these. It show everyone that Parallax cares about its customers and better yet about the quality you provide…. A+. I will defiantly look towards you guys in some of my smaller projects.

Ken Gracey

Thank you, Curran.

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