PUC-rio’s design labs put the 3D printing process in motion with 3&Dbot
all images courtesy of NEXT and LIFE labs from PUC-rio
3D printers can be big, heavy, and have one major limitation: the dimensions of the objects they can print are confined by their own size. these issues posed the conceptual starting point for ‘3&Dbot’, a project by NEXT (three-dimensional experimentation lab) and LIFE (physical computing lab) of PUC-rio‘s design program.
once the entities came together, they sought to answer one question: ‘how could we design a portable intelligent object that would be able to overcome the physical limitation of the 3printer by building structures freely in space?’ after thorough research and development, they envisioned an autonomous 3D-printing robot capable of creating structures freely in space. in order to make all of this possible, various technological tool needed to be implemented and taken into deep consideration. by embedding an arduino micro-controller with wireless communication into the body, industrial omni wheels can be maneuvered in virtually any direction. pin-point accuracy of its mechanisms and position within a field of motion are negotiated by TUIO fiducial markers act as references for video tracking. its printing head can use a variety of materials such as modeling clay, ceramics, and earthenware.
the robot from above
the device can print in a variety of materials
stacking up layers
the world’s first autonomous 3D-printing robot
printing in orange
the omni wheels can move in any direction
detail of the head components
closeup of the process
starting a print job
detail of the omni wheels