3D printers find many different applications today. One of them is 3D printing robot parts. By using a range of materials and processes, these machines are being used to produce robotic arms, claws, and many other components. As you’ll be finding out, also, 3D printed robot projects offer many benefits such as reduced lead times, parts replication, and so on.
What is 3D Printing and How Does it Work?
Before diving into how 3D printing in robotics works, here’s is what you need to know about the technology. 3D printing is used to mean the process by which parts are made using what’s called a 3D printer. 3D means the parts are being created in 3 dimensions.
3D printing sometimes goes by the name “additive manufacturing”. This is because it involves the addition of material in layers, compared to other manufacturing methods such as machining, where materials are removed.
The types of materials that you can use to 3D print include plastics, powdered metal, and even food. Applications for the technology are also wide and varied. You can use it to make these parts and products: automotive components, medical devices, fashion items, aerospace parts, and for 3D printing robots or robot parts.
3D Printing Robots
3D printing robot or robot parts is one of the many ways that the technology is being used. And the market for this application is huge and continually growing.
In this report appearing on Globe News Wire, the market for 3D printed robots will grow at a CGR of 15% annually to reach US$ 4.9 billion by the year 2026. The use of 3B printers in the robot industry is done in two different ways: making entire robots or the specific parts of these robots.
3D Printed Robot
Using a 3D printer, it’s today possible to create an entire robot. This can be a 3D printed humanoid robot, or robotic devices that can perform specific actions. 3D printing large robots requires sophisticated 3D machinery, though, and is mostly done in large robotic centers and companies.
Smaller robots are easier to create using a conventional 3D printing machine, even by hobbyists: it only requires a proper design file and the right materials. With new materials for this particular application readily available, also, robot 3D printing is quite popular today.
3D Printing Robot Parts
Most often, 3D printers are being used to produce robot parts. Examples are robot arms, claws, and larger components like robot chassis. 3D printing robot parts also includes parts that may be difficult to achieve with other methods, or that may require expensive tooling such as injection molding would need.
The fact that you can 3D print robot parts has opened a new chapter in the way robotic systems are made. It means you can replicate their parts with ease, using a digital file and a 3D printer. It also means reduced lead times to make these parts, in addition to ability to control every step of the process
3D Printed Robot Parts
Robot parts are everywhere today, and range from the components of a humanoid robot to the robotic arms of manufacturing systems. They can also be parts for use in everyday automated parts outside manufacturing and made by hobbyist or entrepreneurs. In view of that, below is a list of what you can make when 3D-printing robot parts.
3D Printed Robot Arm
A 3D printed arm can be a small component to person a simple task, or the giant arms used in construction sites or manufacturing facilities. These can be 3D printed, especially when their design involves complex geometries and costly molds and other requirements.
Producing 3D printed robot arm, in addition to allowing for intricate designs, offers the advantage of shorter times to produce a functional product. You can also easily produce 3D printed robotic arms for prototyping purposes, among benefits, such as the freedom to design highly customized arms.
3D Printed Robot Actuator
Actuators are critical parts in many robotic systems, with applications ranging from use in industrial systems to research lab equipment and even human-like robots. They move and control different robotic parts, including arms and other components.
In these usage situations, a 3D printed actuator offers several benefits. Engineers get to easily replicate them, for instance, or create prototypes quickly and with less cost. That’s because their manufacturing is direct: no expensive molds and other tooling that would also take long to produce.
3D Printed Robot Claw
For robots that need to grip or manipulate objects, a clawed arm or hand is usually a necessity. This claw must be both lightweight and strong, and 3D printing technology offers one of the best ways to make these.
Additionally, you can easy create a highly detailed 3D printed robot claw without the need for complex machinery; only a 3D printer and you personalized design file. Printing robot parts of this kind also means greater control of the process since it happens on the printer’s platform.
3D printed Robot Chassis
Most often, a robot requires a chassis for support. This is the underlying platform onto which it rests. When it comes 3D printing robot parts, the chassis is no exception. This can be a chassis for a 3D printed humanoid robot, the chassis for a wheeled robot, or any other type.
When printed, the chassis allows the engineer to make it lightweight enough (using design and material selection) without sacrificing its strength. This is one of the many advantage of 3D printing robots and robotic parts.
From robot arms and claws to actuators, 3D printing robot components allows for fast prototyping and even production. Above all, highly complex but personalized designs are easy to create, which makes the manufacturing method one of the most preferred. Other benefits include the higher degree of repeatability and design flexibility. Overall, 3D printing is quickly becoming one of the most used technologies in the robots world.