Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Simula 5 Developers Kit

by JamieLaing, published

Simula 5 Developers Kit by JamieLaing Jul 7, 2017
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Simula is an Arduino based Artificial Life project and these files and the related software are open source using Creative Commons - Share Alike. Modifications are encouraged, and the internals of Simula are designed specifically to allow for design changes.

The kits including electronics, sensors, motors and all the non-printable parts required for assembly will be available at https://www.chicagorobotics.net.

These parts have been oriented in a way to maximize print quality, so change the "up" direction of the parts at your own risk. Simula uses 3 filament types, Clear/Translucent PLA for the back, Ninjaflex for the treads, and PLA for everything else. ABS can also be used but I think PLA prints look nicer and the brittle nature of PLA makes the bearings work well.

Supports and Rafts are encouraged on all parts except the Ninjaflex treads.

Print one of "Upper" using a translucent filament. My favorite is plain old translucent PLA.

Print two of "Tread" using Ninjaflex or your favorite flexible filament. I've tried a variety of flexible filaments and I find Ninjaflex gives the best results.

Print two of the following:

  • DriveWheel
  • IdlerWheel
  • IdlerBearing
  • HubCap
  • MotorPlate

Print one each of all the rest. I'll be providing detailed instructions on how to set up a quality print using Simplify3D, but feel free to use your slicer of choice!

Print Settings


I use Simplify3D extensively on a variety of printers and shortly I'll be providing detailed instructions on how to print Simula for the best results.

How I Designed This

I used Autodesk Inventor for the printable parts and Autodesk Eagle for PCB design, and I went through countless iterations to simplify the design and maximize the quality of the finished product. I've tested printing on several different printer types, and I'm looking forward to assisting people interested in getting involved with the project.

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The one thing I am going to suggest is a build sequence and perhaps a wiring layout (i.e. which sensors go to which header on the big connector). Mine is pretty much done and I am looking into a change to the cover to add a camera perhaps on a PTZ platform.

Thanks SkyRider, you are absolutely right... the wiring instructions aren't up on the site. I'll take care of that ASAP, because it does matter which sensor goes where.

Having built an early one of these, I can tell you that everything comes together very very well. I would love to make a swarm of these and have them roaming the house.