The potential impact of 3d printing process among robots is high and can become very high once with the development of printing technologies and lower costs for 3D printers. While this technology becomes affordable around the world, DIY robots at home will become a widespread concept at increasingly smaller prices. In the first phase used only by hobbyists from the field, 3D printers become a more common tool among robotic enthusiasts and the subject of this article is 3D printers available for sale and designed to build custom robot parts.
Building customize robots involve custom parts and digital 3D models for components that take shape with a 3D printer. Using creativity and 3D software, new objects could be sketched and then printed with plastic materials like ABS or PLA. Using plastic filaments to build different components from a robot is a quickly and easily method to implement an idea.
Layer after layer, the custom parts take shape in hours and becomes a complete robotic part used from simple to advanced robots. Using plastic is not the best idea if we want to build strong frames or components for robots. All these parts could be used for prototypes or just for fun at least when plastic is used as raw material.
Features like resolution and accuracy are very important when we choose a 3D printer as well as compatible file extensions with digital 3D design. In the following are available a wide range of 3D printers available on the market and designed for use at home or office to build custom components for robots.
Affordable price and quality made printer. Compatible with STL file and 100 micron resolution.
With a wonderful design inspired by Apple, the Buccaneer is a simple and quality made affordable 3D printer. On the aluminum and acrylic case are no place for buttons, just only one light indicator. Since the printer is connected to the Internet wireless, ports also missing.
Maximum dimensions for the printed objects are 150 x 100 x 120 mm (5.8 x 3.9 x 4.7 in) while the resolution of a single step is 100 micron per layer. How faster the printer could build an object from scratch is very important since the designers focus on a high speed of 50 mm/s (approximately 2 in/s).
The printed material compatible with Buccaneer is PLA filament while the compatible format for the 3D design is STL. For design can be used the Smart Objects software or any other STL file generator software.
Affordable price and high accuracy. Materials used for printing objects are ABS or PLA filament.
At an affordable price under a thousand dollars, Panther is a personal 3D printer built with high grade parts from CNC precision machines. For a lightweight and durable structure the printer was built from aluminum and stainless-steel components.
One important feature for 3D printer is the accuracy. Panther has a good accuracy of about 25 microns while the materials used for printing are ABS or PLA filament. In the printing process if the control software detects anomalies it can turn off the heated print bed.
Inside the body of Panther can be printed an object with maximum dimension of 202 x 162 x 157 mm(7.9 x 6.3 x 6 in).
Working with both PLA and ABS plastic, the printer can build 3D objects with thickness layers between 150 and 400 microns.
With a simple design and a rigid structure, Afina H-Series offer the perfect combination between precision and versatility. Layer after layer the printer build the 3D object with a layer thickness between 150 to 400 microns.
Maximum dimensions of the object printed are 140 x 140 x 135 mm (5.5 x 5.5 x 5.3 in). As many other printers H-series uses ABS and PLA plastic. The printer can be connected to Windows or Mac computers, then start creating 3D digital objects.
With a completely reproducible body, Airflow is a good alternative in case when the printer is damaged.
Airflow is a 3D printer built by another 3D printer. With an acrylic frame, Airflow parts could be reproduced by other 3D printers and replaced in case of damage. Based on 17 stepper motors, the printer uses ABS plastic to turn any 3D or CAD model into a physical object. The printer works quickly with an acceptable accuracy.
Airflow has a printed envelope with 195 x 210 x 112 mm (7.6 x 8.2 x 4.4 in) dimensions.
Series 1 3D Printer – Price €1,304 ($1,695)
100 micros layers, 50 microns resolution and 3 microns accuracy.
Series 1 3D printer is characterized by a high precision and very low resolution. A high precision is ensured by advanced stepper motors and components while the accuracy is around 3 microns. In standard configuration the printer can build objects with 100 microns thick layers with a resolution of 50 microns, which is one of the best values in the range.
Inside available volume to build objects is 23 x 23 x 23 – centimeters (9 x 9 x 9-inch).
A better design is translated into a better reliability. With a solid print-head design, Series 1 printer is a platform that can be used for a long time even in difficult conditions.
Innovative 3D printer with PLA and ABS materials while at 360 degrees viewing angle is available for object printed.
Based on an idea where simplicity minimizes the risks and in the same time reduce the costs, DeltaMaker team designs a flexible 3D printer with a set of three arms for motion control and inspired from a robot in the 1980s called Delta robot. The printer has a small footprint with a simple and resistant structure from aluminum which may incorporate an object with maximum dimensions of 25.4 cm diameter x 28 cm tall (10-inch diameter x 11-inch tall).
Printing material is PLA or ABS based with 1.75 mm filament. DeltaMaker has a lower resolution of 100 microns and for digital design can be used a series of tools including Marlin, Slic3r, and Repetier Host software.
Compatible with Linux, OSX, and Windows. 2.5 micron accuracy with 0.2-0.3 mm layer.
Working on 5 axes and with a value for stepping motor of 1/16, the Replicator 2 is one of the best 3D printers that can fit on your desk. Based on ReplicatorG software, the manufacturer offer support for Linux, OSX, and Windows. Compatible with STL or OBJ file type, the user can send the files to the printer over the USB port or just inserting the SD memory card into the printer.
With a volume of about 5 liters, maximum objects that can be printed cannot exceed the overall sizes of 225 x 145 x 150 mm (8.9 x 5.7 x 5.9 in).
The tolerance is about 2.5 microns and can print a layer of 100-micron in a single pass.
High accuracy and very thin layers of just 88 microns.
Industrial revolution comes from Germany where Fabbster company designs an advanced 3D printer that works on the principle of layer construction. Like all 3D printers, Fabbster Kit works by melting plastic and print it through a nozzle in very thin and fine layers of just 88 microns. Such thick layers allow users to print objects with impressive details and with a maximum capacity of 225 x 225 x 210 mm (8.8 x 8.8 x 8.3 in).
An interesting feature for future versions is the maximum size of the object that can be printed. With a modular structure and a flexible design, the kit can be used to print objects with no limits and in different colors.
The Fabbster Kit 3D printer is a great tool to build robotic parts for hobbyists or for students who need to build custom robot parts.
Print objects in 18 colors with a resolution of up to 125 microns.
CubeX can be classified as a friendly 3D printer that allows user to build custom colored parts using ABS or PLA materials. With a printing speed of 15 mm/s and a resolution up to 125 microns, CubeX is a powerful tool to build in minutes custom objects at an affordable price.
Features include up to 18 colors of ABS and PLA materials used for printing, while the CubeX Color Software is designed to create multi-color parts.
Inside the body can be printed objects with maximum dimension of 275 mm x 265 mm x 240 mm (10.8 x 10.45 x 9.5 in).
Cubify Invent Software comes together with the printer and has the ability to create custom profiles as needed and STL file.