3D Printing in Robotics Advantages and Applications

3D Printing in Robotics: Advantages and Applications

We all know that there could be multiple industry necessities for 3D Printing. With customized tooling variants, 3D Printing can be highly useful to your enterprise. Robotics can’t be away from this; that is why the robotics industry and additive manufacturing goes hand in hand.

Additive production techniques like 3D Printing facilitate prototyping, tooling, manufacturing, which lowers costs and time to market and helps robotics engineers accomplish their targets & goals. 3D Printing can help you customize designs for robotic applications according to your requirements and optimize the design. Throughout a swarm of markets, additive processing has unique benefits.

 

Advantages of 3D Printing in the Robotics Industry:

1. Saves Time – 3D Printing makes it possible to produce prototypes much faster than traditional manufacturing techniques, like CNC.

2. Saves Money – Quick time results in less money expenditure, and a perfect design gives the less sunk cost to the company instead of wasting money in trial and error

3. Unimaginable Prototypes – Highly detailed, accurate to micro levels, and smooth scale models printed by 3D printing technology is often used to showcase design ideas. These models also help in situations where CAD models are not sufficient for identifying design issues.

4. Ergonomic Design – Ergonomics aims to make the design of the packaging with human limitations. It is a hands-down winner. 3D Printing allows you to apply ergonomic principles to packaging design.

5. Design that Sells – New advancements in 3D printing technology allow companies to work faster, create more effective prototypes, and test packaging designs that grab consumers’ interest and establish brand identity.

6. Mass Customization – 3D printing technology will enable faster manufacturing in a quicker time and mass customization at a moment’s notice

7. Tools Manufacturing – The production of tools and injection molds can also benefit from 3D Printing. As per EY, thirty-nine percent of consumer products companies sees the value of 3D-printed tools in enhancing traditional manufacturing,

8. Sustainability – 3D Printing can significantly reduce material waste, thereby making the manufacturing process more sustainable.

Application of 3D Printing in Robotics Industry:

InMoov:

Image Source: http://inmoov.fr/

Gael Langevin is a French designer and sculptor who started InMoov. He works for the most prominent brands for more than 25 years.

InMoov is his project, and it was started in January 2012 as the first Open Source prosthetic hand. It has lead to mega projects like E-Nable, Bionico, and many others. InMoov is the world’s first Open Source 3D printed life-size robot.

 

Construction Industry

The construction industry is be one of the biggest recipients of robotic 3D Printing. Some construction firms have turned to industrial robotic arms to 3D print with a range of materials.

For example, French start-up XtreeE has equipped an ABB robotic arm with a concrete extruder to create composite geometric structures as tall as 14 m. This 3D printer enables the company to experiment with different shapes thanks to the industrial robotic arm’s freedom of movement. In partnership with civil engineering department and some architecture companies, XtreeE has developed an impressive project portfolio. XtreeE’s various projects include 3D printed columns, facade panels, bench, and even pavilions.

Creation of smart factories

The combination of 3D printing processes alongside industrial robots is being looked to provide a solution to the growing need manufacturers have to create large objects on mass and with precision, while also automating the production process. As new 3D printing methods have developed, their integration with industrial robots has become simpler, leading to the theory of smart manufacturing.

Smart Factory - 3D Printing in Robotics

Manufacture of robotic arms for 3D Printing

In discussing smart factories’ future, the innovation of 3D printers the utilize robotic arms was touched on. This in itself is a significant new application of 3D Printing in industrial robotics. Several industry players are developing diverse kinds of robotic arms with the capability of performing 3D Printing.

Introduced in 2016, the Niryo One is a 6-axis 3D printed robot arm for education. Originally launched on Kickstarter, Niryo has continued strong with continual improvements in software and design.

Manufacture of robotic arms for 3D Printing

The Sweet Spot for Additive Manufacturing: Low Volume, High Value, Long Lead-Time Parts

Often, the sweet spot for additive manufacturing is in low-volume, high value, long lead-time parts. Why? 3D printing reduces lead times and allows you to avoid the high up-front costs of traditional manufacturing: supply chain, tooling, and setup.

On the cost side, 3D printing often eliminates tooling and setup costs associated with traditional manufacturing. These lowered fixed costs mean that production at low volumes becomes economically viable. The graph below shows visually why this happens:

There’s a time benefit too: Since additive manufacturing doesn’t require setup or tooling, 3D-printed parts can often be produced with lead times in days versus weeks or months for traditional manufacturing.

The Impact
That Matters.

COST

90%

Reduction in cost

Time

95%

Reduction in Time

Supply Chain

ZERO

Inventory & warehousing

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“One of the main applications they use 3D printing for is custom workpiece holders which mount on the machine conveyors.”

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3D Printing is set to revolutionaize the way several industries work, from Medicine to Space Exploration to Education. 
Learning and adopting 3D Prinring in your field may just be the Next Big Thing in your industry or workplace

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