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MIT 3D prints a working robot by combining liquids and solids – Geek

by • April 20, 2016 • No Comments

3D printing is getting advantageous. New materials are becoming on the market to use, the printing devices are getting additional exact, and the tools to assist you create 3D objects to print are improving. But, they yet only print static objects, with anything additional hard needing a few assembly and/or use of pre-existing manufactured parts. That may soon be a thing of the past, yet, if MIT’s latest 3D printing technique pans out.
MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has managed to that successfully 3D print a working robot. That’s a robot requiring no assembly and no special 3D printing hardware. Instead, CSAIL has combined printing of solids and liquids simultaneously into the system, enabling for the creation of hydraulics.

By printing solids and liquids at the same time, MIT can form soft objects that move. As shown in the video, this allows for for gears that pump fluids, bellows that can act as working legs, and actually crankshafts to actuate hydraulic transmission.
The end outcome is a hard 3D printed object with moving parts. Hook up a battery and electric motor, and those parts can be created to work together making a walking robot, for example.

3dprinted_gear
The creation of printable-bodied hydraulics for fabricating robots has been supported by a National Science Foundation grant and is certain to go on being created. Being able-bodied to 3D print an entire robot saves time and avoids mistakes. It does mean we are getting nearer to a world in that robots assemble other robots, yet.
Top of the list for improvements is printing speed. The hexapod robot seen in the video took 22 hours to print, but that is additional to do with the limitations of existing 3D printing devices than the technique utilized.


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