Feb 20, 2016 | By Kira

We’ll leave it up to the experts in Hollywood to recreate the epic, gargantuan robot wars of films such as Transformers and Reel Steel, but if you’ve ever wanted to hold your own ‘battle of the bots’, you now can, thanks to Alex Czech’s 3D printed BashBots Series. The latest in the series, the 3D printed BugBot, has just been released, and the STL files are available to download for free.

Alex Czech is a 3D printing enthusiast hailing from Australia who seems to have a thing for creating cool 3D printed battle gear. Previously, he designed from scratch these awesome and functional 3D printed exoskeleton hands, inspired by Matt Damon’s futuristic suit in the film Elysium. Those hands were later extended into 3D printed exoskeleton arms, and eventually, he intends to build a complete, 3D printed exoskeleton body suit!

The BashBot Series, on the other hand, consists of miniature 3D printed robots powered by standard and low-cost DC motors. The robots are Czech’s take on the classic Bristlebot, one of the simplest and most popular forms of mobile robots. Simply put, its lower surface is covered in rigid, angled bristles that are made to vibrate by a simple, low-cost DC motor. The vibrating movement causes the bristles to move forward, and voila! You’ve got a mobile 3D printed robot.

In order to make your very own bristlebot at home, Czech has just released the free STL files for his version, called the BugBot. The BugBot was designed to be 3D printed in durable ABS plastic, with Czech using his Up Plus 2 3D printer to get the job done.

There are three 3D printed parts (the motor housing, bristles, and dome-shaped protective cover), and additional parts include a DC Electric Mini Vibration Motor and an AA battery to power the whole thing. Some soldering is required for the assembly, however Czech has put together a very easy to follow manual complete with step-by-step images to make this project as easy and accessible as possible.

Once you’ve mastered the BugBot, you might want to take a look at the other members of the BashBot family: the MilliBot and the BeetleBot.  They use the same bristle-based concept, but are outfitted with an additional low-cost DC motor to power claw-shaped, spinning weapons.

The rather epic YouTube video below shows a whole series of MilliBots, BeetleBots, and even a larger, modified spinning bot, pitted against each other in a purpose-built battle arena. Whirling claws collide, BeetleBots are overturned, and as more bots are added (and the ‘bodies’ start piling up), the scene begins to take on a real gladiatorial feel.

If you want to create your own 'Battle of the BashBots', the MilliBot and BeetleBot’s STL files are available to purchase via Czech’s 3DPrintIt Sellfy page, for $0.99 and $1.99 respectively. Or get started with the fun and easy 3D printed BugBot model, which is available to download on Thingiverse entirely for free!



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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