Aug 5, 2017 | By Tess

This next 3D printing project combines two of my favorite things: robots and dancing. And while it’s not the first project to combine the two with 3D printing (remember this cute 3D printed dancing teapot?), it might be the most disco one we’ve come across.

The small robot, called “Dancing Springs,” was created by maker Vladimir Mariano and can be recreated relatively easily if you’re up to the challenge. As Mariano explains, all you’ll need are some 3D printed components (including gears and springs), Adafruit’s Circuit Playground board, a servo motor, a 5V battery, some nuts and bolts, and a Neopixel LED ring which provides the groovy mood lighting.

Basically, Mariano has combined two existing 3D printed makes (both by him as well), which are the “Make your own slinky” project and the “Make your own gears” project. The former, which is captured in a detailed video, demonstrates how you can make a functioning slinky toy using Fusion 360 design software and FDM 3D printing. While the concept of printing a slinky might seem complex at first, the maker assures that by leveraging the sometimes weak layer adhesion of FDM 3D printers, you can actually make a functioning slinky pretty easily.

His gear project, while slightly more straightforward, is also an interesting read as it explains a simple way to design your own gears in Fusion 360. Obviously, 3D printed gears can have many applications aside from a dancing spring robot, but for now that’s what we’re looking at.

As you can see in the video of the dancing robot, a pair of 3D printed springs are attached to a gear each within a 3D printed frame. The gears, which are attached to a servo motor, rotate when the motor is turned on, which in turn causes the springs to rotate. This movement, when paired with music and lights, really does look like dancing.

Perhaps most impressively, Mariano has not settled to simply turning his iPod on when his robot is dancing but he has actually integrated a sound sensor into the Circuit Playground board which triggers the robot’s dancing automatically when music is played.

Finally, the Desktop Makes team member also incorporated a Neopixel Ring which gives the dancing robot some added ambience. I dare you not to think of a disco club when you watch the small table-top bot groove. The whole robot is powered by a simple 5V battery or through a micro usb cable connection.

If you want to make a dancing spring robot of your own, Mariano has uploaded all the STL files for the make on Pinshape and has provided the code and detailed assembly instructions here.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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