Nov 22, 2015 | By Benedict
Ever on the lookout for additive android activity, we hear about a wide range of 3D printed robots here at 3Ders. Some are built for hygiene purposes, some are designed to combat bullying, and some have been built… well, just for fun. An experienced software engineer and part-time maker named J.R. Bédard has built this pair of 3D printed robots, one animated and one stationary, sharing the build procedure on Instructables.
Bédard’s “MT-20” 3D printed robot is controlled by an Arduino microcontroller and can move its arms, legs and head thanks to its 5 well-positioned servos. The software guru has also designed a stationary version of the impressive bot which can be built with extra 3D printed pieces to replace the servos.
The maker used SketchUp to design his cool creation. To augment the software and produce the highest quality build, the Solid Inspector2 plugin was used to remove errors, as well as an STL exporter plugin to export the files for slicing.
The functional MT-20 is comprised of 19 3D printed parts, with its inert cousin requiring 5 printed pseudo-servos and a total of 24 3D printed parts. If it isn’t obvious from the pictures which robot is functional and which isn’t, the former has been built with blue printed parts and the latter with orange. Bédard used a Dremel Idea Builder 3D printer to print his two friendly androids, using PLA filament. Each of the parts can be 3D printed without supports, apart from the torso section which is designed with some easily breakable ones. The 3D printed robot requires surprisingly few connecting parts, thanks to the maker’s use of snap-fit ball joints, which are a little bit like those of actual human limbs!
Bédard printed the two robots with a layer height of 0.15mm, a first layer height of 0.25mm, 3 shells, a 35% infill and a build speed of 80mm/s. Some of the parts are a little trickier than others to get right: the forearms and legs are each designed to contain two colors. This isn’t essential of course, but to get the intended look on a single extruder 3D printer, makers can pause printing after the first layer, change filament, then resume printing.
The talented software engineer used the popular Micro Servo 9g to get movement from the animated droid’s limbs and head. For makers who like the robot’s design, but who would rather not bother with the electronics or who simply prefer the aesthetic of the stationary bot, the servos can be replaced by 3D printed parts. These parts allow the limbs and head of the robot to be manually moved into a range of positions.
The animated version of the robot attaches to a support stand which houses the Arduino so although it won’t be walking out of your office any time soon, it can be programmed to perform a range of movements thanks to the Arduino code written by Bédard. Check out the video below and try building your own!
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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