Feb 7, 2017 | By Benedict

Scott Hatfield, a maker who goes by the alias Toglefritz, has built a 3D printed quadruped robot roughly the size of a small dog. The robot, designed using Autodesk Fusion 360, was one of three First Prize winners of the Design Now: 3D Printing Contest sponsored by Shapeways and 3Dconnexion.

The introductory header of Scott Hatfield’s website seemingly says it all: “Hi, I’m Scott Hatfield. I am a maker.” That pithy self-assessment may, however, undersell the maker’s talents somewhat: with 1.2 million views and 32 popular projects racked up on his Instructables profile, the Wisconsin-based 3D printing expert could, without a hint of braggadocio, describe himself as something of a celebrity within the online maker community. Hatfield’s most recent creation, a 3D printed quadruped robot, has been viewed almost 25,000 times, and was one of three First Prize winners of the Design Now: 3D Printing Contest. The maker won $300 Shapeways print credit, a SpaceMouse Wireless, and an Instructables prize pack for his troubles.

Luckily, Hatfield isn’t keeping his cool 3D printed robot to himself. As with all things Instructables, the design comes with free 3D printable files, a detailed walkthrough, and a comprehensive list of off-the-shelf parts required for the project. And this is surely one quadruped robot you’ll need in your life. Each leg of Hatfield’s robot is actuated by three servos: one for forward/backward movement, one for up/down movement, and one to bend the leg in the middle. This gives the robot three degrees of freedom, allowing it to move in any direction. A NeoPixel LED ring functions as the robot's “eye.”

The entire frame of Hatfield’s quadruped robot is 3D printed, and uses a total of 38 3D printed parts. This, according to Hatfield, has helped keep the robot extremely lightweight. Be warned, however: some of the parts might not survive if printed on a cheap machine. “Some of the 3D printed parts for this build are quite challenging to print, and some of the parts are very large; you will therefore need a fairly high-end 3D printer to make all the parts,” Hatfield says. “My 3D printer did not have a large enough build platform, so I used 3D Hubs to get my parts made and I had a great experience with the service.”

In addition to being a fun 3D printing project, the quadruped robot also provides other advantages to prospective makers. Not had the heart to get rid of the machine that brought San Andreas into your life? Too lazy to use eBay? Worry no longer, because Hatfield’s 3D printed robot even lets you repurpose that useless Playstation 2 controller you’ve got stored in your parents’ loft. A wireless PS2 joypad lets you control the movement of the robot, so you can make it walk, strafe, rotate, speed up, slow down, and more. Once you've sourced the controller, you’ll also need a Lynxmotion Botboarduino, an SSC-32 Servo Controller, 12 Hitec HS-645MG Servos, the aforementioned 16-LED NeoPixel Ring, and a few other bits and bobs.

Instructables users have praised Hatfield’s design, with the robot variously described as “awesome,” “elegant and sleek,” and “amazing.”

 

 

Posted in Fun with 3D Printing

 

 

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