3D Printing Is Changing Robotics

News from 3Dnatives

Additive manufacturing is broadly utilized in the field of robotics. 3D printing offers designers the opportunity to add new functionalities to their manifestations. This time, the huge news originating from UC San Diego where investigates have planned and effectively tried 3D printed insect-like delicate robots. Soft robotics is a subfield of mechanical which manages the development of robots from profoundly compliant materials, like those found in living organisms. Utilizing FDM 3D printers, and standard fibre materials, for example, ABS, the specialists made insect-like robots that were altogether less expensive just as increasingly available.


The development by engineers at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego originates from re-examining how delicate robots are worked: rather than making sense of how to add delicate materials to an unbending robot body, the specialists did the opposite. They began with a delicate body and added unbending highlights to key segments. The structures were roused by creepy crawly exoskeletons, or rather how they work, such exoskeletons are inflexible in certain spots, however entirely adaptable in others.

Additively manufacturing the insect-like robots


In standard FDM printing, a plastic fibre, for example, ABS or PLA is expelled through a heated nozzle and saved onto a flat print surface. The inventive flexoskeleton process utilizes Prusa i3 MK3S or the LulzBot Taz 6 FDM 3D printers, to store fibre legitimately onto a warmed thermoplastic base layer. This outcome in high-security quality between the saved material and the adaptable base, yielding improved obstruction.


As indicated by the analysts, the printing procedure takes around 10 minutes to deliver a solitary Flexoskeleton, which should be possible utilizing practically any 3D printer available and requires under $1 in materials! Altogether, it takes three hours to manufacture and collect a working robot. This stunningly quick and modest technique likewise makes it conceivable to manufacture rather huge gatherings of flexoskeleton robots with minimal manual get together, just as amass an entire library of Lego-like parts so robot parts can be effortlessly traded whenever harmed, or when they wear out. The finished bot could arrive at a speed of about 5cm every second during testing. Nick Gravish, a mechanical engineering professor at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego who oversees the project stated that, “The ultimate goal is to create an assembly line that prints whole flexoskeleton robots without any need for hand assembly. A swarm of these small robots could do as much work as one massive robot on its own-or more.”

In conclusion, this advancement can have critical indications for something beyond one industry – the budget-minded AM strategy could not only lower the expense of section for 3D printing soft robotics, but also open new applications for the innovation in places that, for instance, are insecure for human beings, like war zones or navigating disaster.

3D Print the ESD Safe Materials

News from 3DPrinting.com

The mechanical properties of 3D printed thermoplastic materials have been genuinely all around investigated now. Sure there is consistently opportunity to get better, progressively, after some time, specialists will make new polymer mixes or new filled plastics, and there will be steady gains in quality.


In the long run, the engineering polymer materials will be equivalent to specific metals regarding weight and quality. In any case, there is something else entirely to 3D printed polymers than simple explicit quality. A few organizations have been playing around with the electrical properties of the feedstocks, for some time, aiming to make them conductive and static-dissipative. 


ESD, or electrostatic discharge, is the release of power between a statically charged item, (for example, your hand), and another object of various possibilities, for example, a metal door handle. You comprehend what occurs straightaway: you contact the door handle, you get a shock. Human beings can begin to feel ESD on the skin at around 2000-3000 volts. The current is negligible, otherwise it would kill you.


Small electronics components, for example, the transistors on an IC, notwithstanding, can be completely pulverized by ESD with voltages lower than only 10 volts of static electricity. That is also the curves caused as a statically charged object attempts to ground itself across an air gap. You don’t want these sparkles flying around as you fill your fuel tank with petroleum. Both of these reasons and more are the reason item planners and specialists need ESD safe plastics. The secure ESD touchy electronic segments during production and prevent service stations from detonating. 


As far as ESD safe materials, they can be isolated into two principle gatherings. These are conductive, and static-dissipative materials. Conductors have low electrical opposition and can move electric charge using the mass material or over the surface. In ESD application, they are utilized in those ESD armbands that you wear on your wrist and interface with the ground. They are additionally utilized on those plates that you remain on when entering an ESD controlled region, for example, in an electronics factory.


Conductive vs. Static-Dissipative Materials

Conductive materials have an extremely low electrical obstruction, permitting electrons to stream effectively over their surface or through the main part of the material. Charge streams rapidly starting with one conductor then onto the next. With static-dissipative materials, the charge streams all the more gradually. At the point when an arc occurs, it does as such at a more slow speed, and with lower energy, as it attempts to arrive at the ground. 


Plastics are insulators. They hold a charge and have high electrical opposition. To have a way to ground, conductive fillers must be added to the material to be dissipative. To be classed as an ESD safe material, the surface obstruction of that material must fall inside the scope of 105 Ω and 1011 Ω. If it is less than that range, it is conductive. If it is more, then it is an insulator.


The following are a couple of various materials which are intended for ESD applications covering the principle of plastic printing techniques.


Extruded Materials


Filament deposition adjusts the surface obstruction by the expansion of some type of carbon. ESD safe materials are accessible in a wide range of polymer flavours including high-temperature nylon, TPU and polycarbonate. Ultimaker has an extraordinary outline of ESD safe materials which are additionally tried on their machines.


Sintered Materials


The ESD benevolent sintered plastic feedstocks are less various than their expelled fibre counterparts. In any case, they are still economically accessible for any individual who possesses an SLS machine fit for printing plastics. For instance, a sintered material named iglidur I8-ESD; it has high scraped spot opposition and is electrostatically dissipative. As indicated, it is good with most SLS Machines.




There is by all accounts an unmistakable lack of alternatives where it comes to ESD safe photopolymeric resins for some reasons. Indeed, even Carbon doesn’t have anything recorded.


There is an organization named 3DResyns who publicize an assortment of conductive resins, and they state that by including different conductive and semi-conductive particles to their mix, they would custom be able to make ESD safe photopolymeric resins to prerequisites. Also, there is an organization named Fortify who makes a half and hybrid DLP/composite printer, who has several alternatives concerning ESD safe materials. 


Their printing procedure includes the ordinary layerwise statement, as found in a regular photopolymer printing process, yet with the expansion of a blending tank that infuses the added substances into the base pitch. They call this procedure Digital Composite Manufacturing.

Also, the framework has something many refer to as “Fluxprint”, which utilizes magnets to adjust the particles in the tar as it is relieving. This improves the quality of the parts. 


Fortify site interestingly says that the functional additives must be consistently dispersed to accomplish steady material properties. Their purported Continuous Kinetic Mixing process tends to this issue by mixing resin and additives continually, mitigating settling of additive particles. Asides from these two organizations, no further resin makers were discovered selling ESD resins. Right off the bat, it might essentially be as Fortify has expressed. Perhaps the resins and additives must be continually blended to print appropriately, henceforth why no one is doing it. 


If you need anything 3D printed that is ESD safe, at that point you will have significantly more fortune with filament expulsion printers or powder bed combination plastics.

French Army 3D Print Spare Parts at Remote Bases

Use case from 3D PRINTING.COM

The French military have been utilizing 3D printing to create spare parts for remote bases in areas, for example, Mali. Since obtaining supplies and gear on the field can be unwieldy, the military contracted Desert Tactical Group – Logistics “Charentes” in testing 3D printed substitutes for broken parts. With the guide of Formlabs and Ultimaker 3D printers, they have figured out how to seriously accelerate the flexibly chain and cut part transportation costs.

Advancements like AM and 3D scanning can be incredible methods for streamlining activities for bases in forlorn territories. The French Army have been 3D printing numerous parts including defensive shells, seals, and parts for optics, which would be in any case unattainable for places like Mali or Niger. In addition, the French military are keeping up a base that houses 4,500 work forces. These variables make gear flexibly and upkeep significantly trickier, so 3D printing is a genuine resolution.

The French military are likewise utilizing the innovation to deliver parts and improve them over progressive iterations. Officers partake in pretty much every progression of the printing procedure, from 3D modeling to the selection of materials. The future item would thus be able to be a perfect fit for its capacity!

AM for Replacement Parts in Marine Industry

Use case from 3D PRINTING.COM

The marine gear and extra parts acquisition site ShipParts.com as of late reported that they’ll be embracing 3D printing to gracefully parts to clients all the more rapidly. Diminishing personal time in the marine business where boats end up abandoned several miles from shore is truly an immeasurably significant issue.

ShipParts.com works with in excess of 1,800 customers and 17,000 merchants over the globe so their appropriation of AM will have broad advantages. The diminished outflows alone merit the rebuilding costs. They don’t at present intend to do any of the 3D imprinting in-house; they’ll be joining forces with built up printing administrations to manufacture a trustworthy system that can deliver new parts on-request.

It’s difficult to contend with the attempt to close the deal of delivering new parts with 3D printing: make the specific part the client needs, when they need it, where they need it. It bodes well that we consider being a pace of selection as it empowers providers to run more slender and greener!

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AM Usage For Spare Parts On-Demand

Use case from 3D PRINTING.COM

3D printing production is significantly devoted to providing replacement parts, or spare parts. This application has made tremendous difference because usually the storage accounts for too much room and expense across all supply chains for parts’ replacement. Yet the reduction in physical inventory is not the only reason why businesses and organisations around the world are embracing 3D printing to produce replacement parts on-demand. The following are a few more reasons:

Shorter lead times – By printing a component in a manufacturing centre close to the consumer, it removes almost all the time associated with shipping and distribution, and the item makes it into their hands much faster. A week or two differences in time is considerable in critical applications.

Cost savings – A 3D printed part may cost more than a machined or injection moulded part, but after factoring in lower freight and storage costs as well as cost savings due to reduced downtime due to getting the part sooner, 3D printing is often the more economical option.

Recontinued parts – Eventually, each part is discontinued, either by becoming obsolete to a newer iteration or by shutting down the manufacturer. For customers still using machinery running on those parts that are discontinued, well, they are in a pickle. 3D printing on-demand can resurrect discontinued pieces and extend the life of legacy equipment.

Larger inventories – One of the toughest aspects of physical inventory management is to anticipate which parts will be required and how many each will be kept in stock. Parts don’t always fail in their life expectancy, and even if they did, keeping track of any aspect of each customer’s age is still quite a challenge. When a supplier miscalculates demand, they either end up with excess inventory, which entails additional costs for them, or they don’t have enough parts to meet their customers ‘ needs, which entails additional costs for them and the customers. Digital on-demand 3D printing inventories allow suppliers to meet their customers’ unpredictable needs without all of the storage costs.

Customization – Also, 3D printed parts can be found in different hues, surfaces, and materials. They can be redone and promoted effectively as well. Once more, these applications are costing no extra.

Increased output – The days of fragile 3D printed plastic prototypes are long gone. Today, 3D printed metals are harder than forged metals, and many other 3D printing techniques include isotropic parts on an equal standing with parts produced by traditional processing.

Comparison of 3D printed and conventionally produced Ankle-Foot Orthoses in Malaysia

News from 3DPRINT.COM


AFO (Ankle-Foot Orthosis) is a help support, or brace, that encompasses the region over the lower leg down to the foot, and is utilized to treat the issue like foot drop and flat feet. Traditional techniques for fabricating used to make AFOs can take quite a while, which is the reason 3D printing is being utilized all the more frequently to create these.

A group of scientists from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) distributed “A Comparative Analysis between Conventional Manufacturing and Additive Manufacturing of Ankle-Foot Orthosis” that takes a gander at the ongoing examination on 3D printed AFOs, and contrasts ones made with conventional manufacturing (CM) and additive manufacturing (AM), notwithstanding mechanical properties of 3D printed AFOs.

AFOs made with CM ordinarily utilize lightweight, economical thermoformed polymer sheets, as they may be “aesthetically pleasing” and can be effortlessly formed to a patient’s foot/ankle. Regardless of whether it’s made with 3D printing or not, a great AFO ought to be solid and perfectly sized, lightweight, and financially savvy – characteristics that both CM and AM ought to have the option to fulfil.

Various kinds of materials, running from nylon and PLA to PETG and ABS, have been utilized to manufacture AFOs, and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) appear to be the most well-known strategies. FDM dissolves thermoplastic fibres, at that point expels them through a spout to frame shapes, while SLS utilizes a laser beam to sinter powdered polymer materials, and at that point ties them together to make the model.

FDM printers have three phases – pre-processing, production, and post-processing – and with SLS printing, the AFO should be moved to a cleaning station so the abundance powder can be isolated from the 3D printed parts.

There are a few contrasts between making an AFO with CM and making it with AM. The initiative starts with a manual plaster casting, which is folded over the patient’s ankle and detached once solidified; later, this is used to construct a constructive pattern.

The cut line is ground and smoothed, and Velcro or lashes are eventually included. This protracted procedure requires “sensitive hands-on abilities.” 3D printing, in any case, requires an alternate arrangement of aptitudes. Disregard the plaster cast – a 3D scanner can quantify the limb, and CAD/CAM programming makes it simple to alter the AFO with less waste.

The specialists additionally took a gander at the attributes, and mechanical properties, of CM-and AM-delivered AFOs. A modulus and elasticity in 3D printed AFOs are like that of routinely fabricated ones – implying that the first quality of CM-made AFOs isn’t undermined when utilizing AM.

Looking for warping when 3D printing AFOs is required, which is the reason it’s basic to pick the correct materials. Polypropylene (PP) has a composed, semi-crystalline structure, so the material will cool down and set variously, prompting a high distorting rate. In any case, amorphous polymers ABS and PLA have less possibility of shrinkage or twisting due to their “disrupted polymer chains,” and reasonable PLA additionally has extraordinary rigidity.


Results from this analysis show that most ebb and flow examines utilize Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) or Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) for AFO fabricating, and the materials utilized are generally thermoplastics, for example, Nylon and Polyamide (PA).

The outcomes additionally show that the rigidity and the Modulus of a 3D-printed AFO could reach as high as 43 MPa and 3.9 GPa, separately. It tends to be presumed that 3D printing gives more extensive open doors in the improvement of AFO because of its adaptability in advancing complex geometries, time and weight investment funds, just as its cost-viability!

3D Print the New Human Arm

News from 3D PRINT.COM

“Enhance human intellect and physiology.” Youbionic, established in 2015, has recently released its new Human Arm. The innovative Italian tech startup is determined to highlight previously refined innovation around the globe, while additionally yearningly endeavouring to upgrade human acumen and physiology.


Being dynamic inside the 3D printing and mechanical autonomy domain, Youbionic tests of everything from rising expanded reality to remarkable bionic figures, and even drones; no one can tell what they will think of.


This latest device was propelled by the life structures of the human body, designed to be equipped for liquid, characteristic development. Offered to clients intrigued by robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), the Youbionic Human Arm is intended for understudies and experts having some expertise in such serious fields. The group stated, “Youbionic Human Arm is the device that will get high-value robotic skills in the job market!”


The high-level, affordable robotics can be 3D printed from the workshop or office, or an online 3D printing service. After buying the .stl record for use, fashioners on all levels can utilize predefined shapes and measures or modify the gadgets themselves—alongside utilizing the included, basic guidelines for gathering, and the means for interfacing servo engines.


Youbionic group expressed, “Until now the market offers professional robotic arms at inaccessible prices, or you find toy robotic arms at cheap prices. We designed and developed a bionic device with unlimited motion potential, and we did it with accessible components that contained the cost. We believe everyone should have access to the incredible technology available in our modern age!”


3D printing and robotics keep on supplementing each other as advances that are consistently developing, from autonomous drones to robotics in manufacturing to ultra-programmable electronics. Prosthetics for kids keep on developing at a fast speed as well, because of continuous progressions—and the unbelievable affordability of 3D printing!

3D printed Sweating Robot Muscle

News from 3Dnatives


A gathering of specialists at Cornell University has made a 3D printed sweating robot muscle. By empowering the robot hand to perspire, the muscle can manage its temperature similarly that well-evolved creatures do. The specialists clarified that warm administration is basic to permit robots to work over a significant stretch without overheating. As indicated by the lead analyst on this venture, Rob Shepherd, this type of warm administration is a reasonable arrangement on account of additive manufacturing.


Automatic Perspiration in 3D Printed Hydrogel Actuators, the group’s examination, was distributed in Science Robotics and subtleties the strategy that empowers the robot muscle to perspire. On the off chance that the high-torque thickness engines and exothermic motors that power a robot overheat, the robot will stop to work. This is much a greater amount of an issue with delicate robots that are made of manufactured materials. Therefore, they initiated taking motivation from warm-blooded creatures then permit the robot hand to perspire.


“The ability to perspire is one of the most remarkable features of humans. Sweating takes advantage of evaporated water loss to rapidly dissipate heat and can cool below the ambient environmental temperature. So as is often the case, biology provided an excellent guide for us as engineers.” One of the exploration researchers clarified.


3D printed sweating robot muscle

The group of researchers utilized multi-material stereolithography, utilizing light to fix the state of the robot layer by layer. For this, the group needed to build up the fundamental nanopolymer materials. They manufactured finger like actuators made out of two hydrogel materials that can hold water and react to temperature. All the more accurately, the base layer responds to temperatures over 30°C by contracting. At the point when this occurs, the water is crushed up into another layer that is punctured with little pores. These pores are additionally touchy to a similar temperature go, consequently they enlarge and let the water escape. They close when the temperature falls beneath 30°C.


The group found that this procedure was multiple times more proficient than in people. “The best part of this synthetic strategy is that the thermal regulatory performance is based on the material itself. We did not need to have sensors or other components to control the sweating rate. When the local temperature rose above the transition, the pores would simply open and close on their own.” Clarified by the co-lead creator on the paper, T.J. Wallin.


These fingers like actuators were added to a robot hand that could get and lift objects. One thing to remember is that these fingers could prevent the robot’s portability. While the water can make the robot’s hand dangerous, adjustments to the hydrogel surface could redress. Something else to consider is that the robot should be provided in the water on the off chance that it loses it, similarly as we do. Rob Shepherd also pointed out: “I think that the future of making these more biologically analogous materials and robots is going to rely on the material composition.”


The layer by layer procedure of additive manufacturing was fundamental to making these finger actuators.


“This brings up a point multidisciplinary research in this area, where really no one group has all the answers.”

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