Posts Tagged ‘Shapeways’

Here is Chimera showing the walking for the first time.  It isn’t optimized, but it is exciting.  Paint is complete also.

While making my robot, Trossen Robotics came out with a base for a turret system.  This just appealed to me so much.  I thought there were so many possibilities for this system.  I had to have one and I already knew what I wanted to do with it.  Out came the trusty Autodesk Inventor and I went to designing a turret firing system.  My inspiration came from military designs mixed with a little Halo.  I also wanted it to still work within the rules of Mech Warfare, although I knew it can’t compete, since it doesn’t walk.  I thought maybe it could be used in some sort of game or different situation.  Either way, I still wanted to make one and I thought it would make for a great practice partner.  I could pilot the robot while someone else controls the turret, and I could practice avoiding being hit while controlling my weapon system from the first person view.

I had a couple AX-12+ Dynamixel servos left over from the Bioloid kit that I didn’t use in my robot, so I thought it was perfect.  I also had bought a Trendnet wireless IP camera to use on my mech but had to find a different situation because it was too large to fit in the robot.  Therefore, I used it on my turret.  The turret now has pan/tilt capabilities and wireless video.  From Inventor, I was able to create the plastic parts and some custom brackets for making the military style turret.  I got the plastic parts laser cut and had to think about what to do with the brackets.

I did not want to make custom aluminum brackets again, like I did for my robot.  It seemed too unexact for me trying to bend them to perfect angles, without the correct equipment.  When looking through another robot magazine, I came across articles about peoples experiences with 3D printing services.  I looked at a few and decided this would be perfect for future project, and would work out right now to test getting my brackets done to see the quality of the 3D parts.  I went with Shapeways, a service that has a lot of different materials you can pick from and only charges you for the volume of plastic in your design, not the containing cube.  When the parts came I was really happy.  They were printed in a material called Alumide.  It is a white plastic that has aluminum flakes mixed into it.  The color comes out as a dull grey.  They looked great against the black ABS plastic on the turret.

Everything was mounted and ready to go, except for the airsoft tank guns and barrels.  I did get them in, but they are not mounted yet.  All in all though, the turret has really come together nicely, with a little left to finish.

Here is some video of the turret system without the guns yet, showing off the movement and control.  It is all being controlled via the Arbotix Robocontroller again via Xbee to the Arbotix Commander.