Feb. 22, 2016 | By Alec

It’s one of those chores that you always needed to do as a kid, and haunt you as an adult: mowing the lawn. But this is the 21rst century: surely we should be able to come up with a clever solution for this age-old problem? Fortunately, you don’t need to look any further than the latest project by German engineer Andreas Haeuser, who has developed a low cost 3D printing solution powered by an Arduino: the Ardumower, a 3D printed automatic lawn mower – almost like a Roomba for the lawn.

Andreas Haeuser, of course, is a rather well-known name in DIY RepRap circles. An aeronautical engineer based with over 25 years of experience, he is one of those people who has devoted his spare time to designing and 3D printing innovative and accessible life hacks. While he previously used more traditional manufacturing fabrication processes such as CNC milling machines and lathers, he has been using 3D printers for the last five years to bring his projects to life. This has already resulted in some very interesting projects, including a 3D printed solar stirling engine and a very impressive 3D printed wind turbine. While his projects take months and lots of prototyping and energy, the results are truly inspiring and shared through his website, where you can purchase low cost and very detailed assembly guides.

For his latest project, Andreas was inspired by existing – and very expensive – automatic lawn mowers that take care of one of the most burdensome chores around. “Automatic lawn mowers are very modern ... and very useful, because they take a lot of work from you. Unfortunately, they are also very expensive! Minimum cost for a commercial one is about €600-800,” he says. He therefore set out to build a 3D printed robotic version that can be made for just the fraction of the cost of the real thing. Aside from being built from ABS or PLA, it essentially is the exact same machine as its commercial counterparts. “It drives around in the inner space of a “boundary wire fence” (BWF). If it comes close to the fence it stops, turns and then it goes on mowing your lawn continuously. The ardumower is well tested for a lawn size up to 500m². If your lawn is bigger you need a second battery or you should print a second ardumower,” he explains.

This cool Ardumower is also rather simple to build. It is driven by 12V geared motors, and features a cutting disc (220 mm diameter) powered by a 12V DC motor. All of the power is provided by a rechargeable 12V NiMH or 11,1V LiPo batteries. Aside from that, you essentially need a 3D printer (most common machines are large enough), PLA or ABS filament, and an Arduino. “Arduino Uno and Arduino motorboard reduce the electronics work to a minimum, so also beginners will manage to build this project easily,” Andreas says.

Andreas uses a Mendelmax 1.5 and a Prusa I3 3D printer for his projects, and any similar machines will do – just as long as they have a minimum build volume of 180mm x 180mm x 60mm. The 46 different parts that can be found in the Ardumower take up about 1500 gr of filament. To actually get the 3D printed files and build it, you will need to purchase Andreas’s construction manual, which is a very detailed step-by-step guide that will guide you through every single stage – perfect for beginning builders who don’t have a lot of experience working with motors and Arduinos. All the software and STL files are also included, so it’s a perfect starting point for everyone. Of course setting up the ‘boundary wire fence’ will also be covered in the manual.

You can find it in Andreas’s online shop here, and it costs just $12. Of course the motors and electronics will also cost a few bucks, depending on what you still have laying around. But even if you don’t have any components at all, you can still be finished for around $250 to $300 – way less than a commercial version and arguably a small price to pay for never having to mow the lawn again.

Main specifications for the Ardumower:

  • Length: 420mm
  • Width: 370mm
  • Height: 210mm
  • Weight: 4.1 Kg with batteries
  • Powersource: rechargeable 12V NiMH or  11.1V LiPo batteries
  • Operating range: a 500m² lawn, single charge lasts for up to 120 minutes.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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dario wrote at 3/13/2016 12:32:09 PM:

what are the specifications of the geared motors and the cutting motor?

dario wrote at 3/13/2016 12:19:14 PM:

what are the specifications of the geared motors and the cutting motor?

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