FLXO combines 3D printing and origami to quickly fabricate and explore soft robotics

FLXO combines 3D printing and origami to quickly fabricate and explore soft robotics

designer arnav wagh has created ‘FLXO’ as a tool to explore soft-robotics. the project consists of modular interlocking pneumatic muscles or ‘soft actuators’ that easily integrate with other robotics kits on the market. taking inspiration from simple origami structures that can be printed on any desktop 3D printer, this approach enables users to rapidly iterate and fabricate their soft actuator designs and share it with the rest of the soft-robotics community.

different actuators with pneumatic control unit

all images courtesy of arnav wagh



contrary to conventional robotics which employ rigid materials and motors, pneumatically or hydraulically actuated soft-robots are squishy and highly adaptive to their surroundings. this makes them safe and ideal for collaborative work with humans and other organic life. with his latest project, wagh intends to open up the exploration of soft-robotics, which is a field still in its infancy.

the 3D printed parts allow FLXO to easily integrate with the VeX robotics platform – users can easily snap the connecting components from the VeX kit into these actuators



at present anyone who wants to tinker with soft robotics needs to go through the tedious process of design, fabrication and material sourcing. FLXO is an effort to fill this gap by making key concepts in soft robotics available to everyone. consisting of prefabricated modular components, the parts can be entirely 3D printed and interlocked to create different mechanisms. additionally, FLXO is also designed to be integrated with other robotics kits on the market, encouraging open exploration of soft robotics that may be applied to various uses such as responsive furniture, dynamic interior elements, or even architecture.


integration with an existing robotics kit allows one to quickly build structural components around the actuators

one can easily build something like a robotic hand in minutes



project info:


project name: ‘FLXO’

design: arnav wagh


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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