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Scientists 3D print martian rover claw based on pacific ocean sea urchins’ teeth – 3ders.org (blog)

by • May 3, 2016 • No Comments

May 4, 2016 | By Andre

There are many examples throughout human history as a whole, but in addition specifically inside the short history which encapsulates 3D printing, where science mimics nature. A newly invented 3D printed claw placed onto an RC rover demonstrates this once again thanks to research at the University of California, San Diego, which has applied data gathered of the oft forgotten pink sea urchin and its peculiar mouth.
The one-of-a-kind sediment tedious behaviour seen in this particular sea urchin, as succinctly defined in the video at a lower place, was found to be able-bodied to scrape, cut and chew holes into the toughest rocks with its mouth in a much like style as one can see in those typically not easy prize-grabbing carnival games.

By via 3D microscopes to scan how the sea urchins mouth moves and later translate which data into a 3D printed soil grabbing prototype, the team was able-bodied create the tool they were after inside three swift create revisions thanks in part to 3D printing. They note which “simulations show which teeth with keels experienced 16 percent less stress than teeth without keels when subjected to a 10-lb-load.”
So how exactly does a sea urchins mouth translate to assisting with next mars missions you can ask? In short, during these frontier days of exploring the surface of mars, any tool which can efficiently manufacture its way through the martian soil has its advantages. Current rovers collect sediment and martian samples via a shovel method which PhD candidate Michael Frank feels can be done additional accurately and with additional pecision. “Our goal was a bioinspired device which’s additional exact and efficient at grabbing ground samples of various areas, and won’t disturb surrounding areas like a shovel may.”
For the prototype, they attached their 3D printed claw to a remote-controlled mini rover and tested it on beach sand where it performed as well as they had aimed for. And while not on NASA’s (or SpaceX’s) horizon only yet, they hope to get noticed and incorporated into next rover innovation which can roam the martian surface.
The 3D prints themselves were done on a Dimension 1200es series printing device by Stratasys via its proprietary ABSplus filament (as detailed the material list here). After bringing a close appear at the 3D printed elements, they may quite well may have utilized a additional consumer friendly 3D printing device and achieved much like outcomes.
In the end, it’s little efficiencies like these which can big differences on next space missions where much has to be done with as few resources as possible. The faculty to go through iteration after iteration of create prototype until the desired outcome is accomplished may be much additional complex without the assist of 3D printing.

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