We know the origins of 3D printers and the robots. Someone had the great idea to combine these two concepts and build a hybrid robot that can print 3D objects on almost any print surface.
Hacking a 3D printer and a wheeled robot to build an innovative 3D printer-robot with omnidirectional wheels and independent movement is the idea of a team of engineers from NEXT and the physical computing lab LIFE from Brazil. The engineers find an elegant solution to print 3D objects on unlimited print surfaces with different materials having different properties such as ceramics, modeling clay, earthenware and other pasty mixtures that can be stored in a syringe extruder.
The innovative 3D printer was called 3&DBot and is based on the Arduino controller. The robot-printer is controlled wirelessly from a computer via Wi-Fi connection.
The movement of the robot on the XY axis is similar to the movement of a vehicle with four omnidirectional wheels. While the wheels move the platform in any direction, the 3D printer extruder melting and forming materials into a continuous profile with unlimited dimensions in the two-dimensional XY-plane.
The 3D printer is so simple that can be built at home. If you’re looking for more information, here’s a great story how the printer was built.