Nail guns and chop saws are easy to find in a construction worker’s pickup truck, but if Saša Jokić and Petr Novikov [and fellow researchers Shihui Jin, Stuart Maggs, Dori Sadan and Cristina Nan] are successful, robotic concrete mixers could be the next must-have power tools. Their creations are called Minibuilders and are a new breed of pint-sized drone that could very well 3-D print a house.
Robots that can 3-D print at architectural scale aren’t new (think about that for a second), but this technical approach makes the concept seem more realistic than ever before. Prior experiments have utilized massive gantry-based systems that can deposit thick ropes of concrete to construct a passable shelter in short order. But for those systems to succeed they need to be larger than the structure they’re fabricating. The sheer scale required makes design and fabrication impractical, expensive, and greatly limits the size of the building that can be created.
Minibots work essentially the same way as their crane-sized counterparts and deposit layers of liquified build material. The primary difference is a more modest scale and a very different design approach….
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! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. 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!