Tue Oct 25, 2016, 08:18 PM
smoke check (4,368 posts)
3D Printing Spider Robots
Three-dimensional printing has long had a serious limitation: You can’t make an object larger than the print bed. Consequently, 3-D printers for large-scale objects have taken up a lot of space and required a lot of heavy machinery to move the nozzle around.
Taking a cue from nature, technicians at Siemens may have solved the problem. Instead of building a bigger, better 3-D printer, the company has designed compact “spider robots” that work together to weave large objects seemingly from thin air.
Creating a 3-D printing spider robot was just the first step. The Siemens team needed to come up with a way to make 3-D printing faster. Large-scale printing can be maddeningly slow. Autonomous teams of robots, however, can divide and conquer the construction of a large object by focusing on different areas of the structure. Building on the popular open-source Robot Operating System (ROS), the Siemens R&D group wrote code empowering the robots to make their own optimal decisions about how to print the object.
That means the spiders don’t need special reprogramming as they move on to new construction jobs. This could make building a large-scale object as simple as uploading a request to a central server, as the robots themselves decide how many are needed to complete the task efficiently and which sections of the object each will build.
I wonder what all of this will mean for our descendants in 100 years or so. A lot of things coming soon would seem to make even long term space travel a real option.
1 replies, 220 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
3D Printing Spider Robots (Original post)
|smoke check||Oct 2016||OP|