pic: Something is blocking the 548 display case!


So today I walked into school and thought to myself, “what is blocking our trophy case?” and then I saw that it was a Dimension 3D printer. It’s pretty sweet. We have made a golf club head, crescent wrench, and a bubble jar so far, but I am sure that we will come up with some better stuff for this years robot, and that thing will most likely be running full force during the month of January.

We have one here on 148 that we use all the time for random things. In my opinion, the most useful things we make are encoder couplers. The VERY coolest thing we ever made was a custom cog which meshes with a standard #35 sprocket. This allowed us to very simply integrate an encoder into our steering gearbox on Tumbleweed.

I remember geeking out a little when someone suggested it, but maybe I’m just easily amused.

It would be cool to see a photo of some of the things you’ve made. I’d love to see the bubble jar and the crescent wrench. Awesome!

I think that guy may have worked himself to death… may want to look into that…

Does it print in ABS? I’ve played around with the 3-d printer at the tech shop. Its a cool tool, but the materials are absurdly expensive.

I don’t know about using the printed material on the robot itself, as much as I would recommend casting the material out of something more trusted. Like aluminum or some sort of plastic.

The output of such a 3D printer is plastic.

We’ve had one in our Tech Ed lab for the past three years. Classes use it to invent custom parts for mousetrap cars and VEX robots and 1712 has used it for joystick handles, spacers, and a few other custom applications on robots. For students to be able to go from concept to CAD to product right in the classroom is pretty cool stuff.

the one at the tech shop is just an older version of the one pictured above. When I was at RIT my fav thing to do was try and make small versions of existing products. Like this. http://www.robogreg.com/miniomni.jpg

I made my mom a salt shaker with the 3d printer that’s sitting at Stranahan. :slight_smile:

Waaaa… I want one!

Envious Andy

I thought I saw some cool parts from a powdered metal printer once. It was making tiny custom V8 engine blocks.

Either the guy in the background has suffered some terrible deformity that has placed his eyeballs on the top of his head, or he is at serious risk of developing QWERTYitis.

Cool machine…


Can you lead us in the right direction in purchasing one of these?
How much was that thing?
I want one! :ahh:

god that is tight so jealous:ahh:

You know who has one, er I mean two! :smiley:

What model is it? Fantastic to see another one being used for education, well hopefully anyways:ahh: !

Here is a micro 3d printed wrench for Jane, but you won’t be able to make one this small with a Dimension!:eek: http://printo3d.com/images/IMG_3664s

Team 2028 uses ours ALL the time. Last year we used it to make the drums our forklift would wind the cable up on. The only thing to remember is to be careful, anything with less than about a 1/4 in thickness is most likely to break as we found out the hard way. Also although it may seem stupid, when printing a larger object, start it the night before, and remember to make sure you have ABS! It also comes in handy to build custom motor mounts for the Denso window motor.

Something to remember. According to the parts rules for some previous years, you must account for the cost of materials by using the price of the smallest commercially available quantity. In this case it would be the cost of the spool of raw material.

We have access to a Selective Laser Sintering machine. The material runs something like $100/lb. Unfortunately it is only available in 20lb buckets. That puts a 1 cuin part that weighs about 16grams at $2000. Just a little over the $400 limit.

The rules do change and this is one of the sillier implictions of the previous rules. Why would we want to discourage teams from using this technology if they have it available? Let us hope for better wording in 2009.

I shouldn’t have been so vague. I meant something a little more durable than the standard 3d print output. I’m assuming they’re printing ABS plastic with their dimension.

ABS is already a great plastic, but the applications of it in something like FIRST are numbered. You could use the standard output in low-load, low-impact areas such as potentiometer and encoder couplers and other sensor integration applications. But as soon as they want to start making, stuff that is going to take more of a beating (mecanum rollers, custom wheels, pulleys, etc…) it would be wise to use a more durable material. Cast aluminum is heavy, but if they wanted to try cast polycarbonate, polyethylene, acrylic, etc… I’m sure they would see a benefit as well as an increase in applications for which they could use their printer.

That is nice, here is another perspective:


Yeah that sounds about right. We’ve never actually made anything for the robot with it, but we’ve considered using it to make give aways (think micro-tube-a-saurus’s :D)

Anyone know about how strong printed ABS is to regular ABS sheets?

Would a printed ABS transmission plate be just as strong as a machined one?