SpiderBot 3D Printer goes to grade school... with upgrades

On Thursday 22 November at elementary school De Bras in Nootdorp (the Netherlands) (link) a hour and half long workshop was held about Robots and 3D printing for 25 enthusiastic kids of classes 7 and 8 with an extreme amount of curiosity and questions. Different subjects were covered, what are robots, what do they consist of and what can and can’t they do. For demonstration purposes, several real and functional robots were present:

  • Roomba Robot vacuum (link).
  • Tachikoma robot prototype 2 (link).
  • Spiderbot 3D Printer (link).

The Roomba Robot vacuum was demonstrated by having it driving over the floor while vacuuming, after which it returned to its base station to recharge. The Tachikoma inspired robot was demonstrated by having it walk (on its pedestal) in a creeping cat gait motion. 3D printing was covered extensively, how it works, what you can 3D print or have printed for you and which materials are available. Naturally there was also a demonstration, where the Spiderbot 3D Printer showed off its moves to the entire class by printing a test cube live in front of everyones eyes. Every child in the class had plenty of opportunity to be amazed while having a good look at the printer while it was operational.

At the end of the workshop, as a surprise, each child received a (prepared before hand) 3D printed figurine. Once this new got out and had spread to the entire school, kids all ages came asking if they could pleeeaassseee also have something. Likely, due to the popularity in the future this kind of workshop might have to be repeated. A teacher remarked afterwards that a lot of child hood dreams had come to reality that day. A nice compliment for a great afternoon spent in front of a class. Definitely something different from a regular day at the office.

The 1.1 and 1.2 upgrades have been built in to the SpiderBot 3D Printer. The 1.1 upgrade is an improvement to reduce friction in the linear guide rails that can now be manually set. The 1.2 upgrade makes use of magnets to hold the extrusion head, which results in less friction and smoother movement of the print head. These upgrades came out after the original SpiderBot came to the market and were also made available to existing customers as an upgrade. For this occasion, a time lapse video has been made of the printer building a whirlwind. For the 3D .stl file of this model, see Thingiverse.com (link).

A time lapse video of the SpiderBot Delta 3D Printer in action.

A new addition of my own design is a rubber grommet ring for the door hole, which makes opening and closing it a lot nicer to ones fingers. The part was ordered as a sample from Moss Express (link) and fit very wel in the circular door opening. As an improved cooling solution for the stepper motor controllers, extra large heatsinks have been built in on top and small SMD heatsinks have been installed underneath. The idea of these heatsinks came from the website of Xtrax, someone who is also building a 3D printer (link). All required parts could be ordered from Farnell. Keeping in mind the future expension of a dual extruder, all parts have been ordered in quantities of 5. The parts list:

Article No. Amount Product Description Supplier ID No.
1892470 5 MPC101020T HEAT SINK CERAMIC 10*10*2 STD ADHES MPC101020T

3 thoughts to “SpiderBot 3D Printer goes to grade school... with upgrades”

  1. Leuk Jan. Hij kwam bijna niet door de spam check heen. 😉

    Jammer dat er alleen sterk bezuinigd wordt in het onderwijs, anders was hier nog wel mogelijkheid voor. Privé les is nog wel een optie. 🙂

  2. Leuk dat je dit hebt gedaan Casper!! Ik denk dat nog weinig mensen (en kinderen) weten wat een 3d printer is en wat ie kan….

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