Blockbot V3.1

by msruggles, published

Blockbot V3.1 by msruggles Jul 14, 2012

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Blockbot V3.1 by msruggles is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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STLs are up as build plates (2x).

Improvements from previous versions:

  1. Improved printability. Should be able to print all parts without supports
  2. Added and improved clearances.
  3. Thickened up some of the thinner sections.
  4. Pins are compatible with tbuser's Toy Robot Toolkit.
  5. Blockbot now has a backpack/pen holder/rocket launcher tube/use your imagination thing on his back.
  6. (V3 to V3.1) Pins printed horizontally for strength.

Big thanks to Lochemage for various design input.


Print both plates. Pins are used in all joints. All of the pins are the same. Assemble the head first with a connector pin. Then the shoulders. Plates are 100mmx100mm. In block form, Blockbot is 60mm cubed. Blockbot has been successfully printed at 50% scale (thanks Richgain). Exploded view to be posted soon (Maybe not so soon).

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Excellent! thanks!
just printed one!

Just brilliant, my 5 year old loves it. A bit tricky to get pins in when ABS used but brilliant and have to make an army now

Blockbot's feet were getting worn during a recent extended mission planetside. So I built him a JETPak: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:704005

Do I need rafts to print this and it not stick

http://www.amazon.com/3D-Printed-Transforming-Robot-Gold/dp/B00M3CZB0M/ref=pd_sbs_gw_45?ie=UTF8&refRID=1MQT2AF67SV2AS2H9KPG - good bussines i think, its not a first thing from here that is selling on amazon...
no credits again..

With my consent.

Is it possible to get in contact with you? I am a student at a small high school trying to fund our STEM program.

Oh, that's ok then :)

Printed with PLA on Replicator 2. I found it very difficult to assemble. Printed 5 copies and found them all very difficult to assemble. I would suggest making the pins attached instead of separate pieces by themselves. That way one would only need to make one attachment per joint. Tried at 50%. Pins are too small to hold for assembly.

i have had great success holding the pins with a pliers and pounding them in with a hammer

Yeah, the pins are the weak point in the design. Originally the pins were attached, but because of the orientation they were not very strong and snapped easily. I've been playing with several different pin systems to see if I can find a more robust, easy to assemble and consistent fit.

For folks who find installing the pins a little difficult, a small vise or clamp works really well. They're tough to put in, but worth it for rugged play by the kids. Here's a video example. http://vine.co/v/bvj7aubFXpUhttp://vine.co/v/bvj7aubFXpU

I'd love to see the army of bots you've printed. Thanks for posting the tip.

It is an army. I made them for my son and his cousins.

Your stuff is wicked awesome. What software do you use?

All of my recent designs are done in Solidworks.

Yikes, Expensive. Any free recommendations?

I use Onshape. It is basically a simplified version of SolidWorks, but still has great functionality. And it is free.

Best alternative I've found is 123D from Autodesk. There is a free version and it has most of the common features Solidworks has. I haven't used it much, but I've heard good things from other people. I know you can open and modify .STEP files with 123D if you want to modify the Blockbot designs.

Ah ok thanks. I've got it but haven't delved into it much. I have used Autodesk's 123 catch quite a bit to copy physical objects using a camera as a scanner. I just did a Master Chief figure that I need to post :)

I'd like to play a bit with the plug sizes, using the parametric Pin connectors V3 (made with OpenSCAD). Is there any change you could give us some more info about the pin sizes? (I don't have SolidWorks)

I'm finally printing out my own copy and I'm unhappy with the pins as well. I will post a dimensional drawing (hopefully tomorrow) of the pin connections so others can try making them better. After printing it out myself I think there might be a V3.2 with some changes to the joint designs.

I could't wait to put the robot together so I've measured the pins. I've published the pins: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:48617http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Blockbot V3.1 pins

Dude! This thing blocks...I mean rocks!!

One of the nicest models that I have downloaded from Thingiverse. Printed 100% on a Replicator brilliantly. Well done!

Very nice model, printed very well too. Used the BFB 3D TOUCH printer, ABS, 100% scale, 20% infill, 0,25mm Layer Thickness. Total print time of both plates was about nine hours at double speed. Assembly was a 'snap' even though I managed to swap the feet. I could correct it without damaging the joint. Excellent fit. The spare joint included on the print plates makes you smile.

Here's my mini-Blockbot. I scaled your model down to 50% of the original size and he still printed just perfectly.

Check out the video at http://youtu.be/JzdpM3xwCZshttp://youtu.be/JzdpM3xwCZs to see him in action.

I tried printing this in ABS but all the vertically printed pins snapped off when I pushed them into the holes. :(

Not sure what I did wrong.

New design is up with all of the pins printed horizontally. The head and the body are the same, all of the other parts are new. There was an error on the original pins so I would recommend using the new pins.

I printed with the default settings (10% fill, 1 shell) and had the same problem, but had some luck using acetone 'goop' to strengthen the pins. That is, dissolve some ABS in acetone so that it forms a thick liquid, then put that on the pins so the goop fills in between the threads of plastic and bonds it all together into a stronger part. I had to wait a long time for the acetone to dry out so that the pins were strong - the acetone made them soft.

I am printing again with three shells to see if that helps. Overall the parts were fine with one shell, but I am hoping the extra shells make the pins a bit stronger.

Update: handed it to a seven year old, and none of the vertically printed pins survived, though the three separate pins (head and hips) were fine. Given this, I'd suggest using the tactic from the Screwless Heart Gears and make all of the pieces have holes, with all of the bolts separate components, printed horizontally so that the plastic is drawn the length of the pin (which is stronger).

I have a plan... I should have the solution up by the end of the week... maybe

Vertically printed pins in my experience never last. If you want to improve it make them all print sideways.

You might try talking to user MacGyver as he's been successful with his prints. Also user tbuser might have some suggestions. If you find a good solution please share.

Excellent! I can't wait for the build plates. My Son keeps saying, "I wish someone would make a better Blockbot". I said, "they have Son and soon we'll print it".

Downloading the plates now! Thank you msruggles!

Just looked at the STLs. They didn't save out right. I will upload corrected ones ASAP.

The new plates look perfect! I'm going to print this thing next.

Looks like fun. I can't wait to print it from the STL files.