We live in a world full of imagination and wonder. Robotics has expanded that world to unbelievable heights. Today’s robotics technology has moved from basic mechanics and task driven ideas to allowing robots to do a variety of complex tasks. What makes the better part of modern robotics technology possible is the use of 3D Printing.

Personal Robots

A significant part of the robotics industry stems from personal use. Personal robotics are smaller versions of robotic technology used for entertaining children, education, and even performing nominal tasks. These robots are made to have friendly features such as round curves, and sometimes smiling faces and LED lights, to bring a bit of futuristic technology and a fantasy vibe to the industry.

3D Printers make it easy to produce the intricate pieces that fit together for complex designs. Most personal robotic devices are manufactured as kits to give amateurs a hands-on approach to make the unit come to life. Some even house multi-configuration pieces that provide a more creative aspect to the piece. What began 30 years ago as simplistic robotics design, has morphed into a complex industry of fun and excitement for all ages.

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Advanced Humanoid Robot, Sophia, answers questions at a UN summit. Image taken from CGTN.

Humanoid Help

Personal robots might be used for personal entertainment and basic education, but 3D Printed robots can do much more. The medical industry is always looking for improvements to how they care for humans and these robots can provide a significant advantage over the use of standard human subjects. Robots are not subject to the same limitations as humans, such as feeling pain, so preforming on the robots will not result in the robots feeling anything at all. Medical professionals have turned to 3D Printing robotics models for medical experiments to see how the humanoid structure will react.

Another aspect that is taking off significantly is the use of help for elderly and disabled persons. These robots are designed to be an assistant to humans, by picking up small objects, opening doors, and doing most nominal tasks around the house. The technology is slowly becoming more of an option as more elderly individuals choose to live alone rather than go into assisted living facilities. Through 3D Printing with Metal, plastics, and other materials, the units are light weight and durable for use throughout the home. As the technology expands, we are sure to see more 3D Printed Robots working as assistants in the future for calling for help and even possibly performing basic first aid to patience.

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High End 3D Robotic Technology. Image acquired through Pinterest.

Soft Bodied Robots

When thinking of 3D Printing technology, a rigid plastic, metal, or composite structure comes to mind. These materials currently take up the majority of the industry, but new 3D Printer technology is making it possible to make soft bodied robots as well.

This form of printing is still largely in its infancy, but the implications of its use are truly limitless. Unlike standard rigid 3D Printing, soft 3D Printing is accomplished by printing inside pneumatic chambers allowing the piece to move fluidly without the standard robotic movement. Hydrogen peroxide is allowed to flow through a silicone shell. The real beauty of this technology is that it enables 3D Models to be made completely waterproof.

Although soft bodied robots are newer than other models, they have the potential to impact the world like no other 3D Printed Model ever made. Soft bodied robots could potentially be made into medical devices and human organs without the rigid nature of other implanted devices. Pacemakers and internal medical devices made from the material would be more comfortable for the patient.

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Octobot- Among the First Soft Bodied 3D Printed Models. More information is available through dezeen.com.

Rescue Possibilities

Commercial and Desktop 3D Printers have made it possible for average people to make a significant impact in the industry. One of the largest impact 3D Printing in robotics has provided is a live view. Rescues are traditionally accomplished by people, but there are times where the risk of human life is great within a rescue. The use of robotics enables humans to remain in control of a rescue situation without risking the lives of more individuals.

The uses of 3D Printing with robotics is remarkably limitless. Even though the technology has been around since the 80’s, humans have only begun to scratch the surface of what can be accomplished. Commercial implications are great, but as this technology expands, desktop 3D Printers such as Prusia i3 Mk3 and CNC Machines are giving an avenue for novice 3D Printing enthusiasts to utilise the technology. With so many minds involved in the industry, there is truly no limit to what can and will be accomplished. 3D Printed Robots can be configured for any purpose to impact the human race like no other form of technology on the market. From the medical industry all the way to pure entertainment, 3D Printing with Robotics is a great option.

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