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Reprap for robotics?

Posted by dslc 
Reprap for robotics?
July 29, 2012 09:26AM
Hi folks. This is a slightly vague issue I'm raising, but was just wondering what people thought of these comments from random machinists/robotics hobbyists I found while searching for Reprap-related info. I would also be interested in any general comments people have on using Reprap parts for robotics parts.

Take this quote from a guy over on buildlog.net for example:
Quote
guy on buildlog.net
I actually hold a similar opinion on most 3d printers. Take a solved problem (cnc milling) and create a slow, imprecise and extremely expensive way of of making plastic parts. I never got why so many makers think 3d printing is the greatest thing since sliced bread. For the cost of most of the machines you can get a mill that will be infinitely more useful.

I'll admit that some of the newer machines are impressive, however you can't do serious work with extruded plastic regardless of surface finish. [ Source: [www.buildlog.net] ]

I partially see his point, but is Reprap "extremely expensive"? I don't think so.

Slightly more obnoxious posts can be found on this thread. E.g.

Quote

It depends on what you want to make parts for . . . I've seen RipRap parts and the accuracy is horrible. If you want to do it for fun or as a learning experience, go ahead - it's a huge project on it's own. But don't do it with the expectation of good functional parts for robots.

The MakerBot is much better. You can't do high precision stuff, and materials are limited, but for making neat little thingamabobs it can do the job.

That's hardly justified, is it? (If I had access to a Reprap for robot projects in my first year of college, I would have been ecstatic!)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2012 09:28AM by dslc.
Re: Reprap for robotics?
July 29, 2012 12:33PM
repraps are robots.
Re: Reprap for robotics?
July 29, 2012 01:21PM
The only mills that you find that are as inexpensive as a RepRap tend to be very slow, and use something like a dremel for the spindle. Not exactly high quality or terribly accurate. Inexpensive mills also cannot mill aluminum, so you are limited to wood and plastic anyways.

Also, a well-tuned RepRap can be very accurate. Perfect for robotics. I don't know where the comment that MakerBots are better comes from, it most certainly isn't true.

Those comments are obviously from people that have never used a RepRap before.


Cameron

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Re: Reprap for robotics?
July 29, 2012 03:08PM
Of course Billy. I was just referring to robots in a wider sense. (Thanks for the reminder though.)

Yes, Cameron, I don't think they were the most informed comments either. Also, although I have no experience with CNC milling machines, I imagine a Reprap can probably handle more complex geometries also?
Re: Reprap for robotics?
July 29, 2012 03:29PM
Have you seen the InMoov?
[inmoov.blogspot.com]
That should shut them up.
Re: Reprap for robotics?
July 29, 2012 07:20PM
CNC milling and 3D Printing are really very different.
You can get adequate accuracy with a well tune 3D printer, and it can make parts that would be impossible n a Mill.
<$1000 Mills have their own issues, they are usually small and very limited.
A lot is going to depend on what you want to do with the tool.

I have a CNC Mill and several 3D printers, more often than not I'll print the part if I don't require specific accuracy and plastic is adequately strong, Milling is as much about part setup as it is about cutting, and it's time consuming. Printing, you load the gcode, press print and walk away.
Re: Reprap for robotics?
July 29, 2012 07:58PM
What makes robotics parts different from general machinery parts? Why should a separate question be raised about robotics as opposed to everything else?

In any case the quotes you posted are in a word, hilarious. The "RipRap" quality is horrible but "MakerBot" quality is good? spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
Re: Reprap for robotics?
July 30, 2012 02:44PM
Jesus ttsalo it was just a question. Lighten up.

@Billy: that's pretty neat!

@Polygonhell: that makes perfect sense. Thanks.
Re: Reprap for robotics?
July 30, 2012 06:54PM
Reprap is great for prototyping and creating robotics projects. This is the kind of technology that I dreamed about having access to years ago. Here is a robot wrist and gripper that I designed in Solidworks and printed on a Mendel. I'm working on the rest of the arm right now.


Re: Reprap for robotics?
July 30, 2012 08:18PM
Karl_Williams Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Here is a robot wrist and gripper that I designed
> in Solidworks and printed on a Mendel. I'm working
> on the rest of the arm right now.

That is beautiful. That is something that certainly could be machined on a mill, but is much easier and probably cheaper to produce on a RepRap.


Cameron

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Just click "Edit" in the top-right corner of the page and start typing.
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Re: Reprap for robotics?
July 31, 2012 04:36PM
The problem with a mill is it requires a lot more work to make all but the simplest parts. Changing tool heads, re-orienting parts, setting up zeroes, etc. Reprap is a LOT easier for people who don't have lots of experience working with machine tools. Sure, an experienced machinist can make parts on a mill better than a reprap can, but compare a newbie with a mill to a newbie with a 3d printer and there is no comparison.

Plastic vs Metal is of course a fair point here, but to say plastic isn't capable of serious work is simply wrong.


www.Fablicator.com
Re: Reprap for robotics?
August 01, 2012 12:55PM
Also, try to do 15% honeycomb infill with a mill. There are clear advantages to our process but there is a place for mills as well.

3d Printers are just another tool for the arsenal...just like lathes, laser cutters, mills etc...they all have their specific job to do.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
www.Robosprout.com RepRap Mendel parts and accessories.
Message if there is anything you need...I have more than what is listed on my site.
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Re: Reprap for robotics?
August 01, 2012 05:51PM
I've been mentoring a high school First Robotics team for about 10 years. I can tell you printed parts definitely have a future on our team.

Which is why I built a printer for myself, and will build at least one more for the team.

Our website: [coldfusion1279.com]
First Robotics: [www.usfirst.org]
Our robot this year:



Thingiverse ID Alan1279
Attachments:
open | download - MtOlive1279.JPG (115.2 KB)
Re: Reprap for robotics?
August 01, 2012 06:06PM
@Karl: That's awesome!
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