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You Can Now 3D-Print an Entire Robot, No Assembly Required – Inverse

by • April 5, 2016 • No Comments

It’s complex to comprehend the boundless possibilities of 3D printing. It can manufacture all things of guns to character costumes, and a few actually believe many folks can have a 3D printing device in their home by 2025. The following step in 3D printing is the aptitude to rapidly print off all the robots that can actuallytually take our jobs.
But there’s a catch: 3D printing methods struggle with printing solid and liquid materials at the same time. Currently, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) revealed in a new research paper that it has a solution.
Researchers have created a new, single-system method for printing hydraulic robots with a commercial 3D printing device. The current 3D robot printing method usually consists of putting separately printed parts together by hand. This new one takes out the messy and time consuming act of humans inserting hydraulics into printed robot parts.
“Our approach, that we call ‘printable hydraulics,’ is a step in the direction of the rapid fabrication of functional machines,” Daniela Rus, one of the research paper’s co-authors, told CSAIL. “All you have to do is stick in a battery and motor, and you have a robot that can practically walk right out of the printing device.”

The demonstration video above is an example of a 3D-printed, six-legged, 12-pump hydraulic robot. What it lacks in dimensions, it manufactures up for in advancement.
To manufacture the robot, a 3D printing device utilized a printing method that combines solid and fluid elements organized as assist, flexible, rigid, and liquid of the bottom up. Each layer had a photopolymer section to be hardened into a solid, and a non-curing section intended to stay liquid. The printing device and so beamed solidifying UV light on the materials intended to be solid, and left the liquid stuff alone. It took 22 hours to manufacture.
It is a system that can be done with the same commercial 3D printing device that will be in your home in the next. Best of all, the system spits out a finished product that needs no extra
Mark this achievement down as yet another hurdle cleared in the undertaking to simplify and cheapen the making of robots.
“The CSAIL team has taken multi-material printing to the following level by printing not only a combination of various polymers or a mixture of metals, but fundamentally a self-contained working hydraulic system,” Hod Lipson, Columbia University engineering professor and co-author of Fabricated: The New World of 3-D Printing, told CSAIL. “It is an significant step in the direction ofs the following big phase of 3D printing — moving of printing passive parts to printing active integrated systems.”

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