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Traxbot - an EZ-robot build

by infinityplusplus, published

Traxbot - an EZ-robot build by infinityplusplus Jul 7, 2013

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Summary

I picked up the EZ robot kit because I wanted to make a 3D printed robot and the setup has some nice features and did not look like it had too much of a learning curve to get started. I am still playing with the software but I do have it up and running. This thing will probably be a work in progress forever but I wanted to share the project anyway. I am also going to try and get a video up sometime.

A short video of the Traxbot navigating by itself located here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vWaPmw7uMo

Thanks to Nevil_Clavin for his gear bearing derivative:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:71033
And Emmett for his original:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:53451
As these things started the whole creavite process on this robot project.

Instructions

I added the Solidworks files, they are messy but if you want to make changes this may make it easier for you.

Update***
I have added a ver2 of the servo holder for the drive servos. It moves the servos close together to bring the tracks up on the base's posts better. It also has thicker arms and is a little taller, there was not much room to adjust the tracks before. I have tested it nd it works and also brings the idlers all the way onto the base.

Note***
If you build this with the kit and it comes with the bulky screw on battery disconnect it will not fit in this orientation. I cut the end off an old battery charger and soldered it to an on/off switch I mounted under the car. It will work without the switch of course but I forgot the kit comes with a bulkier plug. You can try turning the board box around so the plug is in the front if you want.

First thing I did was buy the EZ-robot Kit at http://www.ez-robot.com/

This kit has all the electronics I used for this project.
Print off some pieces...
106 tread pieces
2 drive gears
3 servo holders
4 of http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:71033
and 1 of all the other pieces.

The track is assembled by putting 53 pieces together in a loop using 17Ga wire nails. I used one inch nails and had to alternate the side I started in because some were shorter than others and would cause weird stretching if I did them all from one side. The holes are purposely tight so that the smaller side will hold the nail in place and the outside does the pivoting. The servo holder for the drive servos are slotted so they can be pushed up to tighten the track. This can be done with the drive gears on or off, there are slots that will allow a precision screwdriver through to tighten screws.

The pieces that mount to a servo, (camera, ultrasonic sensor, drive gears) are designed to have a servo horn attached and then mounted with screws to the appropriate piece. Some servo horns I had to drill out the hole to accommodate the screw.

For the Ultrasonic sensor there is a 4 pin connector that you need to attach wires to. Best thing I found was to dig into an old tower and cut off a usb header, then solder that to the wires for connecting to the EZ board. That way there isn't a solder joint right where the ultrasonic moves back and forth.

The kit comes with a 6 AA battery pack that I have mounted underneath the base, and there are pre-made holes for everything that I have attached here.

I am not sure what everyone will need/want to know so any questions feel free to ask, I will try to update more when I get more time/ambition.

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One other question, what are the dimensions?

Hello,
I was wondering if it would be able to mount the servos in the middle of the base plate to give it a more tri-tank look with the holes already there or if it would need modified? (New to 3d printing so i dont know how to tell)

It would need modified.

Very nice design, my friend Pau is gonna do another one

Nice design, I will make one, Thanks

I'm going to make one. This looks awesome!

Hey, thanks for this! I have two EZ kits and I'm in the process of printing these pieces to use with one of them. I'm having trouble getting the base plate to slice in Slic3r - I get a message that the object isn't manifold there is a hole. Any idea how I can fix it so I get it sliced? Thanks again!

I ran the base plate through netfabb. There was some issue but so tiny that skienforge must have ignored it. I have uploaded the fixed file.

I love the bearings in this thing, that is an awesome use of them.

This is great, I too am an EZ-robot fan with a Rep2x. I am been collecting track things etc and planned to do just this very thing. Perfect job. Thank you. Also thinking about sticking a little servo gripper on as well. Nice work.

Awesome, I applaud you for having integrated these bearings into something useful! Looks great.

Awesome model and application! I love it when people combine printed pieces with lv electronics :) Can you offer any advice for printing one on a replicator 2? I've been having trouble with the base, but thats probably crud printer + crud software. I could possibly do full supports/rafters, but of course with PLA the separation isnt as great as one would hope.

Thanks for the upload and inspiration!
Regards,
Hexalot

I printed the Traxbot entirely on my replicator 2. I do use RepG and sailfish normally, but I did slice a few of these with makerware. I did not need any rafts or supports for these pieces. the base would have been almost impossible for me to print before I got my glass beds and began using aquanet hairspray to coat the bed with. Information on this if you want/need it can be found on the makerbot operator google group. If you search "cold glass" you should find several threads on printing to cold glass. My base came out flat and smooth with zero warping. Only other upgrade you need is that spring loaded extruder-any one of them is better than the plunger.
I think I printed the base with 20 percent infill for strength on the arms. Other than that I used pretty standard settings.

I printed the whole model on a replicator 2. The base is a big flat area and Before I switched to a glass bed and began coating it in aquanet hairspray this would have been almost impossible to print. With this upgrade the bottom is as flat as the glass it was made on. I did not need to use rafts or support on any on the pieces. A few of them need to be oriented, like the camera pieces. Most pieces to not require a lot of special settings. I think I used a higher infill on the base for strength on the Idlers. If you want information on printing directly on cold glass with hairspray I suggest going to the Makerbot Operators google group and searching for "cold glass" there are several threads that have information on the subject- https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/makerbothttps://groups.google.com/foru...

And some sort of sping loaded extruder if you do not have one already.

Thanks to you both for the input. I do have a glass bed and have been using hairspray for some time, I have also printed many mods to work out the typical bugs with this thing(this community is spectacular). In the case of the main "base", I actually had the model upside down xD RepG's default yellow color scheme doesn't show detail to well, i didnt notice that one side was more flat than the other. It printed without error once it was rotated. The bridging on the servo box still worries me, but ill cross it when I come to it :p Thanks again for the reply and upload :)

I thought they lost my comment, then they posted both of them. Anyway the bridging was a little stringy and I did a little cleanup. It could be remodeled some to fix it. Actually typing this I remembered some changes to it that are needed for better plug clearance. Ill try to get something up later today.

Inspired me to order an EZ kit. Good work.

Awesome. This is the kind of that inspired me to get a 3d printer. Now if I can just finish making things for the rest of my family, and get to printing this kind of stuff.

Thanks for the praise, and I know how you feel about the family thing. I still get requests, but they have died down quite a bit.

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