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Mars Exploration Rover

by tbuser, published

Mars Exploration Rover by tbuser Jul 14, 2011

Featured Thing!

Description

Articulated, snap together, Mars Rover! No screws, glue, or support structure needed (although some glue in a few places wouldn't hurt). All the parts can be posed, turned, twisted. The wheels turn and the legs even pivot like the real thing to go over obstacles! Unfortunately, it is not autonomous.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Exploration_Rover

2011-07-19 Update: V3 fixes a problem with plate 5 that was causing some pieces to be too close together and get merged, makes the axel holes in the body a little tighter, half the panels in the plates have been flipped so that the shiny side of all pieces printed on a HBP can be on top, I made the dimples on the panel tabs larger so they hold together better, and I also added squares to the panels to make them look more like solar panels.

2011-07-16 Update: I uploaded a new version of everything with a few changes like dimpled tabs for the solar panels (thanks to gpvillamil) and slightly larger holes to make it easier to snap bolts into. I also added a variable to the openscad script called tolerance that you can use to make those holes slightly larger. If you print the tolerance_test.stl you can use it to help find the right tolerance for your printer. The holes range from a tolerance value of 0.0 to 0.6 in 0.1 increments and the files I uploaded are 0.2

Recent Comments

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I'm going to print another parts set (plate 5) at 100% infill. The bolts break just looking at them sideways.

is that what you did because i am having a really hard time doing that and it looks like it would put a lot of stress on it

Try moving the brass nut to on top of the Z stage to get some extra height out of it.

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Instructions

You're definitely going to need a stepstruder to print this. There's lots of little tall/narrow bits.

The tolerances are really tight and a few parts might require some drilling/sanding/or a lot of force to get them to snap together. You'll probably break a few bolts trying to get them to snap together, don't worry they're small and you can print new ones quickly. You can always play with the measurements in the openscad file to suit your printer. Also, the solar panels aren't very secure and tend to fall apart and could use a little work to make them snap together better.

Take a look at the "layout" part in the openscad script to help you figure out how the parts go together.

I suggest printing plate 1 in yellow plastic, plates 2, 3, and 4 in black plastic, and plate 5 in white.

The zip file contains all the individual stl files.

20 models
42 total parts

BOM:
1 body
1 panel_center
1 panel_back
2 panel_side_back
2 panel_side_front
6 wheel
2 axel_front
2 axel_back
12 bolt
2 arm
1 arm_sensor
1 target
1 antenna_uhf
1 antenna_low
1 antenna_high_bottom
1 antenna_high_top
1 camera_bottom
1 camera_top
2 camera_top_side
1 camera

Comments

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jridley on Nov 8, 2011 said:

I'm going to print another parts set (plate 5) at 100% infill. The bolts break just looking at them sideways.

tbuser on Aug 7, 2011 said:

Try moving the brass nut to on top of the Z stage to get some extra height out of it.

rnakata808 on Aug 7, 2011 said:

is that what you did because i am having a really hard time doing that and it looks like it would put a lot of stress on it

ZaphodBeeblebrox on Jul 23, 2011 said:

You know how the Spirit Rover is stuck in the sand? Why not use the arm withthe tool on the end to push itself out?

Wiles on Aug 1, 2011 said:

They spent several months trying to free Spirit unsuccessfully. They have since lost contact with it.

tbuser on Jul 19, 2011 said:

Just uploaded V3 which fixes a problem with plate 5 that was causing some pieces to be too close together and get merged, makes the axel holes in the body a little tighter, half the panels in the plates have been flipped so that the shiny side of all pieces printed on a HBP can be on top, I made the dimples on the panel tabs larger so they hold together better, and I also added squares to the panels to make them look more like solar panels.

DigitalBytes on Jul 21, 2011 said:

Thanks tbuser. I printed this twice trying to determine if there was something wrong with my tolerances. Then looking more closely it seemed that the toolpath was actually doing the merge not some settings on my bot.

Thought I was going crazy!

Thanks again for this. Will be fun to assemble.

rnakata808 on Jul 18, 2011 said:

i have problems printing round circles for things like the bolts any tips *DONT_KNOW*

rnakata808 on Jul 18, 2011 said:

also my antenna looks like a swirly piece of crap :-E

koen on Jul 16, 2011 said:

If you mirror plate 4 the panels assembled with the buildplatform side facing the same way. With my PLA-on-glass setup the bottom and top look very different.

gpvillamil on Jul 17, 2011 said:

Very good idea. Also lets you start the print with yellow and switch to black halfway through, so it looks more like the real rover.

tbuser on Jul 16, 2011 said:

I uploaded a new version of everything with a few changes like dimpled tabs for the solar panels (thanks to gpvillamil) and slightly larger holes to make it easier to snap bolts into. I also added a variable to the openscad script called tolerance that you can use to make those holes slightly larger. If you print the tolerance_test.stl you can use it to help find the right tolerance for your printer. The holes range from a tolerance value of 0.0 to 0.6 and the files I uploaded are 0.2

gpvillamil on Jul 19, 2011 said:

Cool! I'm working on making flat hinges for the solar panels, so that they can fold into descent position.

gpvillamil on Jul 16, 2011 said:

This is amazing. Printing it now.

How do you assemble the camera on to the top of its stand? It seems like you have to bend the camera bracket out quite a bit for it to fit?

tbuser on Jul 16, 2011 said:

The horizontal tube that the camera snaps on to is actually 2 parts, you can't see the seam because they meet inside the top loop. :) That part is a little tricky to put together, but the clamping pressure then holds them in place.

amybuser on Jul 15, 2011 said:

I have a feeling these are replicating in my basement.

MarcusWolschon on Jul 15, 2011 said:

rotfl :)

MarcusWolschon on Jul 15, 2011 said:

You made it to the side-bar in the Makerbot wiki. :)

Congratulations!

http://www.makerbot.com/docs/t...

on Jul 15, 2011 said:

Trying it at .75 scale on my cupcake. What machine did you print this on, and what's the range of motion please?

tbuser on Jul 15, 2011 said:

All the parts should fit on a cupcake I think. I printed it on a Thing-o-Matic. Range of motion? Well the wheels spin, the wheel legs both rotate in two places each, the arm has I guess 2 degrees of freedom :) The circular antenna rotates, the camera rotates side to side and up and down, and each of the 5 solar panels can be bent up, down, or horizontal independently.

jimcook on Jul 15, 2011 said:

This is printing well.

"Take a look at the "layout" part in the openscad script to help you figure out how the parts go together."

Is there an easy way to see the "layout" file? I only have Google Sketchup.

tbuser on Jul 15, 2011 said:

Unfortunately, I'm having trouble persuading openscad to export the layout as an stl. You'll have to installed openscad to view it. I posted a few views to flickr that might help?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/t...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/t...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/t...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/t...

on Jul 15, 2011 said:

I've been looking for a new desk toy, and you've just presented it. Thank you VERY much sir.

Thaed on Jul 14, 2011 said:

I have 2 plates done. I can't do anymore until I get home. I should have built that stupid robot arm already... I will have one of these by tomorrow though.

MarcusWolschon on Jul 15, 2011 said:

What kind of robot arm? :)

Sounds interesting.

ReSc on Jul 14, 2011 said:

You Sir, are Awesome!

Also I'm with xtremd...

7777773 on Jul 14, 2011 said:

This is my favorite Thing, ever. Absolutely amazing work. Thanks!

syvwlch on Jul 14, 2011 said:

In awe, sir, in awe.

winterg on Jul 14, 2011 said:

I'd find a way to slap an arduino on that....

WilliamAAdams on Jul 14, 2011 said:

That's quite a lot of work you've done there!

I don't know if you're interested in reducing the amount of code, but if you are...

You have a pattern where you do: translate, rotate, cylinder... You might be able to encapsulate this in arrays, and have a single routine that just iterates the array:

[[tx, ty, tz], [rx, ry, rz], [cr1, cr2, c
h]]

tx/y/z - translation
rx/y/z - rotation
cr1/2 - cylinder radius 1, 2
ch - cylinder height

print_cylinders(cyls)
{
for (cyl=cyls)
{
translate(cyl[0])
rotate(cyl[1])
cylinder(r1=cyl[2][0], r2 = cyl[2][1], h = cyl[2][2]);
}
}

Then a lot of your code disappears
and just turns into arrays of arrays.

Also, I don't quite understand the openscad recursion problem. It simply doesn't have recursion, but you perhaps don't need that if everything is just arrays?

tbuser on Jul 14, 2011 said:

The code I wrote for this is pretty ugly. It is like writing a webpage layout using tables instead of css. Usually I use a lot of variables for measurements and then everything is built off of those measurements, but in this case I pretty much built it as I went.

The recursion problems I had were in my attempt to make a build script. I couldn't call print_part("plate1") which called print_plate("1") which called a bunch of print_part(x y z). Also, I had a bunch of problems where I was calling modules within modules to do negative space cutouts which resu
lted in openscad opencsg rendering being disabled because normalized tree had too many elements. So instead of calling a module, I had to copy/paste the relevant code from that module into the other and it compiled fine.

Anonymous on Jul 14, 2011 said:

Are you a wizard

Renosis on Jul 14, 2011 said:

This is really great! Wow, that's all I can really say about it.... wow!

cyclone on Jul 14, 2011 said:

Full articulation? Nice. You really are an evil genius. :)

Joakim on Jul 14, 2011 said:

cooool ;)

Thaed on Jul 14, 2011 said:

Holy cow! This is awesome.

MarcusWolschon on Jul 14, 2011 said:

Did you really use OpenSCAD do do all these parts as the tags suggest?

Must have been a real piece of work with no graphical feedback and no inter-part dependencies in an assembly.

tbuser on Jul 14, 2011 said:

I don't even have to press F5, I use a text editor on one monitor while openscad runs on another monitor with the automatic reload and compile option turned on. So while I'm writing code, the model updates next to me. :P

Renosis on Jul 14, 2011 said:

What do you mean no graphical feedback? You can press F5 and view your design immediately.

koenkooi on Jul 14, 2011 said:

Yes Marcus, we get it, you hate openscad. You don't need to troll every openscad based thingiverse entry to make your point over and over and over and over again.

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