Robot Prototype

Here’s my first attempt at troubleshooting a slightly more complex object — an original “Botlet” robot designed by Christopher Romano.

Chris sent me the figure’s specs in .obj file format, with the figure broken down a couple ways: as a single solid/envelope, as a collection of major parts, and as a collection of major parts, each split in half so as to eliminate overhangs and create a flat surface as a base for each.

For the first test print I tried the split-in-half parts, all ganged up into one batch. I printed them without a raft because I needed smooth surfaces for gluing the finished parts together. But every piece presents an opportunity for something to come untsuck from the build platform. Especially small pieces; the lower their area-to-perimeter ratio, the more likely it seems these suckers start peeling up due to uneven or rapid cooling, ruining the print run. Fifteen thin, curled pieces of robot-cross-section garbage later, I had a feeling this approach was a dead end.

For the next run I tried coaxing ReplicatorG to print just the top half, from mid-shoulders up. I thought if I submerged the .stl model into the build platform, it might just print from there up. Nope. It printed the whole thing. Even though I knew the lower arm would be a mess, I let it continue to run so I could see what other overhangs might be problematic. The lower arm printed entirely onto empty space and is all spaghettied, as expected. A little bit of his junk is falling off, as well as some of his jawline, upper elbow, and wrist. But the rest looks good.

I scaled the last test up a bit, and turned on external supports. The supports fixed the lower arm problem, but for as much material as it uses, the software didn’t put any supports in a few places that needed them. The jawline still sagged, and one of the lower fingers had only a pinpoint of support and came unattached. I had to glue it back on.

The top of the head seems just a bit too flat, and that sagged into the hollow space below. I think if I’d turned on some interior infill it would have been OK. (I printed at 0% infill: completely hollow.)

I could have spent more time preparing the completed print prior to painting, but I wasn’t really shooting for a “finished” result, and I need to work fast or else I get distracted thinking about the next object to print. After a hasty paint job, I’m pretty happy with the result for this round, and I think I know how to tweak the whole process for a much nicer end product. Here’s the target, “Nuts the robot”, in action.

About my video:

I think I did a decent job with some of the camera jostling and blurring this time. Yes, it’s a bit more subtle: I’m still trying to find the perfect degree of disorienting motion. And I’m not slacking with the sound – I did my best to find a thematically appropriate yet head-poundingly jarring, repetitive soundtrack. I thought I really hit the mark with Daft Punk’s “Robot Rock” in the original (now deleted) upload of this video, but then I got this helpful message from YouTube. No joke:

“Your video “Makerbot Replicator Robot” may include the following copyrighted content: “Daft Punk-Robot Rock”, sound recording administered by: EMI What does this mean? Your video is blocked in 237 countries: Afghanistan Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo – Democratic Republic of Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) Faroe Islands [plus another 150+ countries no one’s ever heard of] … Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe

Your video is still available in 10 countries: Aland Islands Guernsey Isle of Man Jersey Montenegro Saint Barthelemy Saint Martin Serbia South Sudan West Bank”

Thanks EMI! (Somebody should write a song about those guys.)

I’ve got peeps in the Falkland Islands who are dying to see my Makerbot videos, so Crystal Method it is. Still edgy to me, but maybe I’m dating myself…

Gotta try to work in some Dubstep while it’s still hep. I’d *really* like to use Orinoco Ninja Flow (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xirQPCsL1us), but that might freak out the squares a bit *too* much 🙂

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