Robotics, Learn by building, module IV: Prototyping and 3D printing
This module will fuse together everything you learned in the first three parts as you learn how to prototype, which is construction of original machinery from scratch. Ian will show a variety of both tools, techniques and best practices, including tips and tricks from his own decades of experience in prototyping and modeling. You’ll see first hand how to use tools you may already have to work in ways you probably never thought of, to make complex parts. You’ll also learn different mold making techniques and special tools you’ve probably never seen before, or show good and safe ways to use these tools. You’ll then use it all to build your first robot, a 3D printer. 3D printers really are robots, and with a 3D printer you can then literally print custom designed parts for your robot designs. Because you are the one designing and building your 3D printer, there are fewer limits to what you can do with it. It can have a huge printing bed compared to commercial 3D printers that would normally cost thousands of dollars, or you can retrofit it with a laser cutter to custom cut your own parts, or retrofit it with a milling head to cut your own custom metal parts. All these systems incorporate the same principles of the computer controlled gantry, effectively a robot.