Mobile Robot, With Printable Gearbox

by NickAmes, published

Mobile Robot, With Printable Gearbox by NickAmes Oct 2, 2010

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This is a small two-wheeled robot designed for pattywac's bearing contest. It is similar to other robots available on thingiverse, but it is unique in that it does not use gearmotors or continuous rotation servos, but plain dc motors and a makerbot-printed geartrain.

Although the printed geartrain is incredibly noisy and not terribly efficient, it is much cheaper than any gearbox that one could buy. Also, it's printed on the makerbot, which is pretty neat.

-Makerbot Printable Geartrain (8:1 reduction)
-Printable without heated build platform
-3mm holes in chassis and cover for easy modification/expansion
-Can accommodate motors up to 25mm in diameter (comes set for 22mm in diameter) and up to 30mm long.


This is the abbreviated version; see the README file for more detailed instructions.

The robot is made of two identical halves, that each contain a wheel and the geartrain for that wheel. The wheel is clamped on the bearing with a M3 bolt that goes through the wheel and the output gear; the wheel and output gear shafts mesh inside the bearing bore to transmit torque. There are two middle gears between the output gear and the motor pinion.

After the chassis has been assembled, a cover is attached. There are several options available. Cover_Grid.stl is a cover with 1cm spaced 3mm holes. The two arduino covers allow an arduino to be mounted on the top of the robot. Cover_Solid.stl is a cover with just screw holes and a hole for the motor wires. Cover_Blank.stl is a cover without the top and bottom faces filled in, to make making your own covers easier.

The assembly instructions can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickames/sets/72157624952160443/

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This looks like a really cool project . I have been able to print all the parts except the chassis. Using the Skeinforge that is part of Replicator 19 i get some sort of fatal error . Taking it in and out of blender deosnt seem to help . It will give me a valid g-code file if i use Skeinforge 7 but my bot is not tuned for that version ( also its 240000 steps!) . What did you use to generate your printable file?

I used skeinforge 7.

Nice work. I noticed you bolted the halves together, but did you also JB Weld the halves together or is that some kind of potting for the motors in the top photo?

The version of the design that I printed (the version posted here has this fixed) did not have enough room to get the nut on to the bolt, so I had to hot glue the halves together.

ahh, I thought you had just left the other hole small and tapped it for the bolts, but the casing still turned out pretty cool for your bot. That is the nice thing about rapid prototyping, you can always fix the cad file and print another one if the first one didn't work. Ugh, it use to be so frustating hogging parts out of wood and metal only to find out my last five hours of work were trash.

I'll definitely have to print this out before digging too much deeper into this Arduino stuff.

Beautiful! What software did you use for the gears?

I used this gear generation script (for blender):


However, the website seems to be down at the moment. If the site doesn't come back up, and you want a copy of the script, email me and I'll send it to you. (My email address in in my thingiverse profile.)