Recently at the Stevens Institute of Technology, a Student-made robot was printed and assembled in record time, which will eventually interact with thousands of visitors. This robot can tell you how it was built: printed completely from scratch, in record time, by students operating two programmable state-of-the-art printers in Stevens Institute of Technology’s new PROtotype Object Fabrication (PROOF) Lab.
“I think it’s fair to say this was a big hit,” says Stevens PROOF Lab director Kishore Pochiraju, who coordinated the exhibition with LSC. After discussions began about collaborating on a second Stevens exhibition, LSC came to Stevens with the idea of 3D-printing a robot that could be at once interactive, instructive and educational.
Next, students in a graduate additive manufacturing course taught by Stevens research engineer Biruk Gebre ’06 M.Eng. ’09 began printing approximately 100 limbs, joints, ‘bones’ and other mechanical parts of the robot in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic. Then, over the end-of-year semester break, Peter Bruinooge — a fifth-year mechanical engineering major with prior experience crafting infant products on 3D printers and helping redesign a body-armor suit for the Department of Defense — started putting all the pieces together. Stevens’ PROOF Lab utilizes eight 3D printers, including an Objet professional printer capable of printing multiple materials simultaneously and working in both stiff and bendable plastics.