Mechanics and Construction > Mechanics and Construction

3D Printing

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srayner:
I was thinking of building a RepRap mendel for printing robot parts. Has anyone had any experience with the Medel or other 3D printer?

I'm not sure what the quality and strength of the parts would be like.

jwatte:
A 3D printer is a hobby in and of itself. You're going to spend as much time making the printer print well, as you will spend actually printing robot parts.
In general, yes, 3D printers can print robot parts. Check out TwitchMX, for example; all the yellow parts (and perhaps some others?) are 3D printed: http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?5939-TwitchMX-The-Mech-of-Many-Feet

If I were to buy a printer RIGHT NOW I'd either get a Type A Machines Model 1 (ready-assembled,) or a MendelMax v2 Kit. But I'm not -- I prefer to mill parts out of aluminum, as that's faster and more reliable.

Gertlex:
In my experience, the strength is more than sufficient for just about anything on the hobby-robot scale.  One exception is if your robot is going to be falling on the parts similar to a biped I know of that tried 3D printed arm brackets... they break after a few falls.

Worst case, you end up prototyping a weak part and can replace it with sheet metal if needed.

idee17:
How do you go about milling parts out of aluminium jwatte?

~Thanks Idan

jwatte:

--- Quote ---How do you go about milling parts out of aluminium jwatte?
--- End quote ---

I design the parts in a tool like Adobe Illustrator or VCarve Pro or Autodesk Inventor. Then I generate G-code for it. Then I take that code, and the aluminum, and some end mills and drills, to a workshop, and use a CNC mill to cut the parts.

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