May 2, 2018 | By David

We’ve reported before on the unique 3D printing achievements of Matt Denton, who runs the Mantis Hacks Youtube channel. Denton has used 3D printing technology and LEGO construction bricks to put together some impressive builds, with videos recording his work. He also has a long career in the TV and Film industries, contributing visual effects of various kinds to such high-profile franchises as Harry Potter and Star Wars, through the Micromagic Systems company that he founded in 1999. Denton has recently posted another video on his channel, demonstrating his huge 3D printed LEGO Bulldozer.

While this might sound like a real one-of-a-kind 3D printing project, Denton has actually worked on some similar things in the past. He posted a video of a giant 3D printed LEGO forklift not so long ago, as well as a giant remote-controlled LEGO Go-Kart. This latest project was carried out in collaboration with Denton’s nephew.

The bulldozer was based on the LEGO Technics kit for a bulldozer, which is made up of a total of 372 parts. Denton decided to take this design and make his own huge 3D printed version, hopefully running the moving parts from an electric motor.

A few different materials were used for the bulldozer, depending on the type of part. The main structural components, caterpillar tracks, and gears all needed to be printed with slightly different materials to give them the necessary properties as well as the right colours. Denton made use of Premium PLA filament that he sourced from online filament service 3Dfialprint. He opted for the Polymaker Polylite PLA 3D printing material, in Grey and Black colors.

A range of different 3D printers were also used at different stages of the printing process. Denton used 3 Lulzbot FDM machines, the Taz 5, the Taz 6, and the Mini, which are particularly popular with makers and hobbyists. Accessories including a Flexystruder and a MOARstruder were also used.

Total printing time was over 600 hours, with such a huge range of different components to get right. After printing of the parts was complete, some minor post-processing steps were necessary before assembly. The 3D printed caterpillar tracks had a metal pin added to them, in order to improve their strength. Denton also used a 24mm drill bit in order to clean up some of the holes in the sides of the main body of the bulldozer, to make the axles run a little smoother. The gearbox also required a small amount of tinkering to get it to work properly, after the parts were 3D printed.

The finished bulldozer weighed around 26kg (57 lbs), and was powered by 2 small additional motors, which were fitted to the sides and ran off a battery. Despite the main shovel being a bit too heavy for the mechanism to lift, the vehicle’s tracks ran smoothly, and the LEGO-inspired project is an impressive sight. Future videos should see Denton modifying the vehicle further, so he will be able to life the shovel and run the whole thing via remote control.

(source: Youtube, Mantis Hacks)



Posted in Fun with 3D Printing



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Tyler wrote at 5/22/2018 10:17:16 PM:

What an amazing project! We just printed with actual LEGO bricks.

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