Google Cardboard is a new, innovative way to experience a virtual reality for under $10. Your smart phone is placed in this headset, and when the phone is in an app designed for Google Cardboard, the app displays two images. With the help of lenses, the Cardboard makes the image look 3D. As you move your head around, the phone will also move the image, resulting in a virtual reality. I found this design on Thingiverse and decided to print it. The main print took around 23 hours to print.
My new parts can be found here. I will test them and update on my progress. So far I have successfully printed new legs and feet. I need a body to mount the short arms to, and then I will be able to test the robots walking capabilities.
I took an RC car apart and used the motor to create a walking robot. This video provided some useful information on getting started with this project. It showed me how to structure the legs and use the axle, which normally would have wheels, to walk. However, the dc motor I found had a different structure and axle, so I created my own. My car was also bigger and heavier. This prompted me to create my own 3D printed version of this car-robot. Once I had gotten the robot to function, I incorporated 3D printing to improve the robot's strength and reliability.
Shown below is a video displaying how the robot ran at first. It was floppy and couldn't move in a straight line. However, the gear, axle, and bearings were functioning flawlessly. With the recently acquired knowledge I now have, I am currently designing a 3D printed version of this robot. Using a strong plastic, Amphora, I can incorporate a more precise model, and hopefully use less hot glue!
I have just recently started designing very basic models to print on a free program called TinkerCad. The very first thing I designed was a block that screwed into a light-switch panel. On the block was a loop in which a sting would go through. The string was mounted at the top of the panel and ran through the loop over the light switch button. The string was then routed through my room to my bed, where I could pull on a handle I designed to turn off my lights whilst in bed.
The downloads for my designs can be found here.
The latest problem I have encountered is the streaks of burned plastic sometimes found on my finished prints. I believe this is due to an aluminum heating block and a brass nozzle and pipe. The aluminum expands more than the brass when heating up, and the melted plastic runs down on the top of the aluminum block. This is not only annoying to clean every print, but the print can also contain some of this unwanted plastic if the print takes long enough for more melted plastic to form. A possible solution is getting a brass heating block.
A lot of new things have been printed, and even more prints have failed. Some key points I have learned so far:
- Always double check the orientation before printing (oops!)
- Use supports when overhangs are present
- If the print is stringy, increase retraction and decrease acceleration
- Use a thin layer of glue on the heated bed if the print comes off during printing
Some of the more successful prints include a Superb Owl, a sheep, and some buildings in Paris(left).
The first few prints were printed by USB with the printed hooked up to the computer. Our very first print was an Ultimaker Robot. It printed, but the layers were uneven and the hands lacked support in the file we found, but overall this print was successful in the sense that it made the shape of a robot. We played with the settings, but we still lacked the desired qualities of the robot.
The next thing I wanted to print was a phone case. About halfway the plastic stopped coming out but the printer still went through the motions of printing the layers. This puzzled me, and I tried other prints, only to find the same pattern of stopping halfway. The problem was soon found to be with the extrude mechanism. The plastic went through, but the lever was put on loosely and not popped in place, so there was no pressure on the plastic once it reached a certain point in the print. Once this was fixed, the prints went much smoother, and I could now work with the options involving nozzle and bed temperature, retraction, and acceleration.
All of the motors and limit switches on the inside of the printer ran through sleeves in the corner and eventually into holes leading to the bottom of the printer. The circuit board was mounted onto the underside of the printer, and all of the wires were plugged in and neatly wrapped up in Velcro loops. The Ultimaker control panel was assembled and placed on the front of the printer, and the wire from the controller was connected to the circuit board. This completed the building portion of the printer.
The Z motor was mounted on the bottom of the printer and stuck through close to the back panel. Two other bars guided the heated bed to prevent the bed from moving when the motor turns. After the bed had been mounted, the material feeder was the last thing that needed to be built. Once put together, it was mounted on the outside of the back panel, right next to where the plastic would hang.
The material feeder has a screw on the left side that controls the pressure on the plastic as it travels through and the motor connected to the feeder controls how fast the material is pushed through into the extrusion head. A white tube was put around all the wires to keep them together.
The extrusion head was then placed on the rest of the printer and the axes ran through the linear bearings and fit into the slider blocks. I was then able to move the extrusion head around easily and smoothly.
Building the extrusion head started with attaching the brass nozzle to the aluminum heating block. The frame of the extrusion head was made with wood and screwed together. Two linear bearings were placed through the middle of the frame. This is where the axes will run through. The cartridge heater and PT100 were then placed in the aluminum heater block. The fan was then attached along with the fan duct, and everything was secured with self tapping bolts. All the cords ran through the top of the extrusion head.
The last step to building the axes was to actually place the rods in and connect the motors and axes using belts as pictured on the right. This was challenging in the next step because the slider blocks were upside down and couldn't hold the printer head effectively.
Building the axes started out with assembling the slider blocks pictured to the left. These are placed on the axes and slide back and forth to hold and guide the printer head. The claw on the slider is pressed on a belt that moves with the motors. The axes bar goes through the hole in the middle of each slider block.
The printer arrived in hundreds of parts. The first thing I built was the frame which was made of laser cut wood. We were given one screwdriver and one Allen wrench. Making the frame was relatively simple. We then put in the ball bearings, limit switches, X and Y motor, and lastly attached the bottom panel to the frame. This completed the frame section of the instructions.