3D Printable Dash Accessories
At the April STEM camp meeting I was asked to 3D print bulldozer blades for a set of robots. One of the STEM camp teams was going to use Dash robots from Wonder Workshop https://www.makewonder.com/ and was planning to have students program the robots to move objects around a maze. Wonder Workshop has a $40 accessory pack with 5 items but the only thing the team wanted was the dozer blade. They couldn’t see spending $320 to get 8 plastic pieces.
They had purchased a set of accessories and handed me the box but they didn’t have a robot that I could borrow. I’m sure they thought it was a straightforward task to 3D print a blade. However, what they were really asking was for me to reverse engineer an injection molded piece for a different manufacturing process and a different material without a means to test fit the pieces. 😦
The store bought accessory snap fits onto circular portion of the robot with the dozer blade fitting like over the ear headphones. The design wouldn’t 3D print very well as a single pice on an FDM printer so I broke the design into pieces. I did a rough model in Tinkercad and printed on the Dremel 3D40. I compared with the actual model and made some changes to strengthen the print.
At the June meeting, I was given a Dash robot and was able to test fit the model and it worked fairly well but was a little flimsy.
Facing a tight deadline I started iterating on my home Ultimaker 2. I realized I didn’t need to use the more decorative design of the Wonder Workshop piece and designed a quicker printing and sturdier part. Instead of 3D printing a dozer blade, I designed a clip for thin cardboard so that students could customize the blade.
The fit seemed pretty good.
After consulting with the team, I started mass producing parts.
In use the fit wasn’t quite as good as it could have been. The team was supposed to use plastic Easter Eggs but they got lost so they ended up using corks. These corks got caught under the blades and were enough to pop them off. Students adapted by taping the blades on but the teachers felt this took away from the sleek look of the Dash robots.
I’ve made the prototype models I designed available on Tinkercad https://tinkercad.com/things/j5Ady395mvw and Thingiverse http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1646558. Hopefully, someone will remix and improve on these designs.
Please leave any suggestions or links to your improved design in the comments or contact me on Twitter @DesignMakeTeach.