iRobot, most famous for their Roomba cleaning robots, has just filed a patent for an all-in-one automated fabricator that includes a range of tools from 3D print, milling, and drilling heads — and other finishing/polishing processes, via 3ders.org.
Bedford based Roomba maker iRobot Corporation, founded in 1990 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology roboticists, has filed a US patent entitled “Robotic Fabricator”, a completely autonomous all-in-one product fabrication robot that handles manufacturing (including 3D printing) and all the post printing work from seed component to mature product.
In their application noted the company: In traditional 3D printing, if the product to be printed requires an overhang, or becomes larger on a subsequent layer, a support structure is used and it need to be removed after printing, requiring extra processing and human involvement in the manufacturing steps.
Additionally, connectors and fasteners are used to secure product components together, and seams are created when product components are fused together. Connectors, fasteners, seams, and similar interfaces are frequently a source of failure in the end product. Furthermore human intervention and labor are required for assembling a finished product.
iRobot’s Robotic Fabricator is going to change it: it automates the manufacture and assembly processes aiming to reduce the need for human labor, decrease manufacturing costs and improve product quality.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!