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Printable Hydraulics: MIT Researchers Predict One Day Customized Robots Will Walk Right Out of Your 3D Printer

by • April 4, 2016 • No Comments

csailThe use of the 3D printing device in the present day is a thing that most anyone can master. We’ve boiled the technology down so that it can be integrated into elementary, middle, and high schools—as well as community colleges. You can shop and order a 3D printing device online or go to Sam’s Club and buy one, or actually see one in action, along with 3D scanning, during pilot programs like one we reported on not long ago for iMcustom. You can buy 3D printing device kits at virtually a tenth of the price and go the DIY route, and actually manufacture improvements with open-source models. The point is that 3D printing has hit the mainstream—and the mainstream is embracing it additional than enthusiastically.

But what takes place when you put together 3D printing devices and the brilliant minds at MIT? We end up with technology that just manufactures you shake your head in wonder. Straying ahead of the current hoopla regarding bioprinting and sending 3D printing devices into space, scientists of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have learned how to print with both solids and liquids at the same time, that should lend itself strongly to the robotics realm. They have released their findings in ‘Printable-bodied Hydraulics: A Method for Fabricating Robots by 3D Co-Printing Solids and Liquids,’ by Robert MacCurdy, Robert Katzschmann, Youbin Kim, and Daniela Rus, a paper just published on Cornell University Library’s open source database.

UntitledThe paper outlines how via commercial 3D printing devices that have been specifically modified
for their research, they have turn it intod a new technique that they refer to as ‘printable-bodied hydraulics.’ In this system, they are able-bodied to take a photopolymer 3D printing device and enhance it with the capability for liquids to be printed simultaneously with solids—and bringing it one significant step further—allowing for the liquid to be stored inside the solid as it is being printed.

“When the parts are being printed, they’re being printed layer by layer, in quite thin layers. At those kinds of scales, at the height of the layers, the dimensions of the droplets we deposit allows for materials that are solids and liquids to sit next to every other on that layer, for the reason of the surface tension of these droplets,” said CSAIL post-doctoral associate Robert MacCurdy in a new interview.

The next here is that one day machines can be able-bodied to completely turn it into robots, eager to go. So far they’ve turn it intod a rudimentary prototype, but it displays the concept quite well in that the robot comes out of the 3D printing device, turn it intod in just one step, requireing just a battery and motor.

“We have a 3D printing device that can lay out either solids or liquids, and and so we have an algorithm that decides when the printing device should put down a water droplet or solid droplet. This allows for us to turn it into objects that were not possible to turn it into before,” said CSAIL director Daniela Rus.”This allows for us to 3D print hydraulic mechanisms and incorporate them into the robot. The reason the liquids stay liquid is for the reason they are enclosed in a mechanism of pipes.”

MIT's hydraulic robot (Photo: MIT CSAIL

MIT’s hydraulic robot [Photo: MIT CSAIL]

This most likely was not a problem most of us having been worrying how to solve, but the concept is pretty absorbing in terms of being able-bodied to churn out robots—in one step. It took the researchers a year to refine their new method.

“Building robots has historically been a time consuming system. Constrained by on the market-bodied fabrication techniques, conventional robotic create practice dictates that engineers sequentially assemble robots of most discrete parts, with long concomitant assembly times,” say the researchers in their paper. “Mass production accomplishes efficiency gains through optimizing every assembly step, but optimization requires that the create be fixed; actually tiny changes become complex and costly.

The key in this new method is that things are taking place on additional than one level, simultaneously. The materials that are to be solid are cured by the UV light, but the droplets stay in liquid form. This allows for the scientists to embed hydraulic channels for the robotic parts—and in being able-bodied to do that, it’s an all-in-one streamlined system without the require to add or take anything away.

“The printing device utilized in this work, a Stratasys Objet260 Connex, uses an inkjet head to deposit three various photopolymers simultaneously and accomplishes finished-part resolutions advantageous than 100µm,” say the researchers in their paper. “The Objet260 uses eight print-heads with linear arrays of nozzles to deposit resins onto the create surface. These resins quickly cure when exposed to the high-intensity UV light source mounted on the print head. Three-dimensional models are broken up into thin slices, and printed of the bottom-up, layer by layer.”

The ultimate thought is that one day when this thought hits the mainstream for us all you can be able-bodied to print out your own robot at home. Scientists literally foresee the robot being able-bodied to ‘walk itself out of the printing device.’ This is all a outcome of your being able-bodied to tell the printing device what you want in a create, for it to integrate the programming, and and so donate you a machine that can clean your floor, pick things up, always revealing up when you require him, never late—and offering the greatest of benefits: no whining! How soon can we sign up?

Check out the video at a lower place that shows a prototype the researchers have turn it intod. All that is involved is a motor and a battery, and it’s off and running! It can actually be regulated by a smartphone. How do you ponder this can impact the next? Discuss in the 3D Printing LIquids & Solids forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: International Business Times]