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Recoverable metal microdrive

Metal microdrive for silicon probe recordings. Below are necessary design files and detailed instructions for assembling the microdrives yourself. You may also order them from our production partner 3Dneuro.

Recoverable microdrive

Table of contents

  1. Ordering and assemble the drive yourself
  2. Purchasing fully assembled microdrives
  3. Assembly instructions
  4. Materials
  5. Citations

Ordering and assemble the drive yourself

The .step files are optimized for stainless steel 316L, 20 micrometer resolution and aluminum AlSi10Mg, high resolution using Proto Labs ( Download step files from our GitHub repository.

In order to receive high quality prints from ProtoLabs, please follow these instructions:

  1. Add the following note to drive_v09: “Use orientation as in quote 9301-742”
  2. Add the following note to arm_v09_aluminum: “Use orientation as in quote 2379-080”

For other printers, materials or printing companies, modifications may be necessary.

Purchasing fully assembled microdrives

To purchase fully assembled drives, please contact 3Dneuro (our partner in production).

Assembly instructions

See video below. Detailed assembly instructions are available for the metal microdrive and for the implantation tool.

The assembly video is also available on youtube. Neuropixels probe attachment (or any other silicon probe) are available here.


Metal microdrive v9 (1/2”)

QtyNameVendorItem number/Link
400-90 nutMcMaster92736A112
100-90 screw 1/2”McMaster92482A235
300-90 screw 1/4”McMaster93701A005
12-56 nylon screw 1/4”McMaster95868A132
1000-120 screw 1/8”McMaster90910A600
1-3male header pinDigiKeySAM1067-40-ND

Additional tools

QtyNameVendorItem number/LinkNotes 
1T2 screwdriverMcMaster52995A31  
1T1 screwdriverMcMaster52995A31  
100-90 TapMcMaster2504A14Or similar 00-90 tap. 
1000-120 TapMcMaster2504A12Or similar 000-120 tap. 
12-56 TapMcMaster2522A713Or similar 2-56 tap. 
 Hex Screwdriver    
11.2 mm drill bitMcMaster2958A29Or similar drill bit. 


If you use our designs, please cite our paper: Metal microdrive and head cap system for silicon probe recovery in freely moving rodent Mihály Vöröslakos, Peter C. Petersen, Balázs Vöröslakos, György Buzsáki doi:

The original idea of the drive is described in the following paper:

Micro-drive and headgear for chronic implant and recovery of optoelectronic probes Jinho Chung, Farnaz Sharif, Dajung Jung, Soyoun Kim & Sebastien Royer Scientific Reports, volume 7, Article number: 2773 (2017) doi:10.1038/s41598-017-03340-5

The designs are distributed under GNU GPLv3 license.