Tag Archives: 3d printing

James Bruton’s robot uses three ball-shaped wheels to move in any direction

via Arduino Blog

Wheeled robots normally have wheels that move in a single axis and steer by using either differential speeds or by pivoting some kind of guide wheel. However, this leads to some drawbacks, the most obvious being an inability to move in really tight spaces. When presented with this challenge, YouTuber James Bruton came up with a great design for a highly mobile robot platform that employs a novel setup to move in any direction. Inspired by the work of researchers at Osaka University in Japan, the omni wheel uses a single drive shaft to spin, yet nearly every surface has a way to move along the ground. 

After designing his robot in Fusion 360 and 3D printing each part, Bruton assembled the wheels and added a pulley to each drive shaft which could be spun by a motor sitting directly above. An Arduino Mega is tasked with controlling each of the three BTS7960 motor drivers and it receives commands via an nRF24L01 radio module. All of the drive components are powered by a single 3-cell LiPo battery pack, while the main board is supplied current by a USB battery bank. 

By spinning certain wheels at the correct speed, straight line motion can be produced, as shown in the video below. Bruton tested his robot by driving over carpet, tile, aluminum extrusions, and even a plastic lid, which did very well across everything except the lid. This robot has countless potential uses, such as a garbage collection device for around the house. 

Code and design files for the project are available on GitHub.

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This 3D-printed tourbillon was modeled after Jacob & Co’s Twin Turbo Furious watch

via Arduino Blog

It seems like everyone who has a substantial net worth carries around a few luxury watches, but none are perhaps as mechanically enthralling as the Twin Turbo Furious watch from Jacob & Co., which houses a pair of spinning orbs called tourbillons that increase the watch’s accuracy. However, they’re quite small and intricate, so seeing exactly how they work is difficult. This is why mcmaven on Instructables wanted to create a huge 3D-printed version that shows every detailed component. 

At the heart is the balance wheel and spring which tick along and keep the time. Further up, the escape wheel works in a ratchet mechanism to slowly load and release the spring as the tourbillon spins. These core components are then placed into the two halves of the body that spins around on the base. 

To produce movement, a single 28BYJ-48 stepper motor turns a gear underneath the base to spin the tourbillon. One nice feature of this project is the assembly’s ability to keep a consistent speed through the use of a rotary encoder, as the previous speed is stored within EEPROM and loaded upon boot. A single Arduino Nano is responsible for controlling the entire system, and as seen in the video, it looks incredible.

More details on the tourbillon can be found in its write-up.

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Channel your inner Wolverine with these 3D-printed, muscle-controlled bionic claws

via Arduino Blog

In the fictional Marvel Universe, Wolverine has sets of claws that pop out of his hands as if they were natural parts of his body. While a seemingly fantastic concept, myoelectric sensors are able to pick up on muscle movements in order to illicit a response. YouTuber MERT Arduino & Tech decided to take this concept and build a pair of forearm-mounted claws.

The wearable device senses muscle activation via a MyoWare muscle sensor, which sends information on to an Arduino Nano on a custom carrier board. Depending on the signal, it’s able to extend or retract claws, with the help of a servo motor and linkage system.

The project looks like a lot of fun, and more information can be found in the video’s description below. It’s also not the first time we’ve seen some 3D-printed bionic claws — similar instructions are available in this Make: tutorial.

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This digital clock uses 24 Arduino-controlled analog faces

via Arduino Blog

After being inspired by a beautiful, if rather expensive timepiece, Ira Hart decided to make a 3D-printed clock with 24 analog faces that combine to form a single digital display. The overall device is controlled by a single Arduino Nano, which keeps track of the time using a RTC module. This unit coordinates 24 other Nanos on custom carrier boards, which in turn drive their own little clock face via a pair of steppers and a gear system.

When working together, these 24 clocks can tell the time in very large characters, and even show a variety of kinetic art as it changes from one minute to the next. It looks awesome in the video below, and build info is available in Hart’s project write-up.

Making a mini 360° LiDAR for $40

via Arduino Blog

LiDAR (or “light detection and ranging”) sensors are all the rage these days, from their potential uses in autonomous vehicles, to their implementation on the iPhone 12. As cool as they are, these (traditionally) spinning sensors tend to be quite expensive, well out of reach for most amateur experimenters. Daniel Hingston, however, has managed to build his own unit for under $40, using an Arduino Uno and a pair of VL53L0X time-of-flight (ToF) sensors.

The lighthouse employs a small gearmotor to rotate the two sensors on top of its cylindrical 3D-printed housing, passing signals to the Arduino via a slip ring. Data can then be visualized using a Processing sketch running on a nearby computer.

As seen at around the 10:00 mark in the video, the setup has been utilized to map out different test enclosures, and could be excellent for use in small robotic applications. More details can be found in Hingston’s tutorial here.

A fully-animated, Arduino-powered launchpad for the LEGO Saturn V model rocket

via Arduino Blog

Approximately 18 months ago, Mark Howe embarked on a journey to build an animatronic launchpad and gantry for a LEGO Saturn V model rocket. After approximately 1,000 hours of CAD work, hundreds of hours of 3D printing, and a major redesign, he’s created a truly impressive setup that resembles one of NASA’s.

Howe’s rocket and structure stand several feet tall, with a crane, sway bar, crew walkway, gantry arms, and service arms that move out of the way using servos. Everything is controlled by Arduino Uno, along with an MP3 shield to play the Apollo 11 countdown audio.

Once ready for liftoff, the rocket rises via a trio of stepper motor-driven linear actuators, simulating the real thing with a fiery plume of NeoPixels underneath.

More details on this dynamic diorama can be found on Howe’s project page.