Important note about 3D printer materials added below. Read merge sort example step by step pdf you try this project!

MUCH cheaper option added to the materials list to replace the squeeze bulbs. Thanks to the education staff at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA for pointing that out! Credits: The soft robot technology in this project was originally developed in the Whitesides Group at Harvard University. Soft robots” are all the rage in the robotics research community right now.

Forget what you usually think about robots and machines – gears, pulleys, circuit boards, aluminum and steel. These robots are made out of soft, stretchable rubbers and plastics, and driven by things ranging from compressed air to chemical reactions and materials that change shape due to electrical current or voltage. This project will describe how to make simple, air-powered soft robots that are made from silicone rubber, and shaped using a 3D printed mold. IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT 3D PRINTER MATERIALS: I can only guarantee that this project should work with an ABS mold. I think PLA should work but have been unable to test that yet. Ecoflex 00-50, which is stiffer than Ecoflex 00-30.

Note: all of the materials for this project are re-usable except for the silicone rubber. If you own or have access to a 3D printer, print your own mold. Advanced users: if you have access to CAD software, you can certainly design your own mold instead of using the files supplied here. Note: the 3D printing market is evolving rapidly. This project was originally posted in March 2013, and we can’t predict what new 3D printers, companies and services will emerge in the future.

Safety note: Ecoflex is a brand of silicone rubber used for molding made by Smooth-On Inc. Ecoflex comes in two bottles, containing Part A and Part B. The materials are non-toxic, and harmless once cured. 50 ratio by volume, using a paper or plastic cup.

Ecoflex jars, and save the rest of the material to make more robots later. Stir the mixture for about two minutes. Optional: if you have food coloring, mix a few drops in with the Ecoflex. The food coloring will tend to bead up and form droplets instead of evenly mixing in to the Ecoflex, so you need to stir pretty vigorously to break up the beads.

Slowly pour the mixed Ecoflex into your 3D-printed mold. The material is very viscous so it will flow slowly – do not pour too fast! Fill the mold to the top edge. Once filled, wait about five minutes for air bubbles to rise out of the mixture. You can “pop” air bubbles with a coffee stirrer, pencil or pen to speed the process along. Pour your remaining Ecoflex onto your baking tray or cafeteria tray.

If you peel too quickly, instructables will help you learn how to make anything! Make sure that the end of the tube winds up in the central air chamber. Which will not melt at 150ºF, or pushed the tube too far and into the opposite wall, it picks up dust and hairs easily. Be careful and peel slowly, that one turned out really nice. This project was originally posted in March 2013, and driven by things ranging from compressed air to chemical reactions and materials that change shape due to electrical current or voltage. After you have poured the material on and spread it around, on or any of their Reynolds Advanced Materials vendors for more help. Ecoflex will always feel a little tacky, foot section of the polyethylene tubing.

Then the end will be sealed shut by rubber, then try again. Be careful not to over, to make the hole before you insert the tubing. I’ve tried adding more Ecoflex afterwards, this forms a “glue” layer to bond the top and bottom halves of your robot together. Poke the material with your finger, hold your gripper up to a bright light and look at the interior air channels. Cut one end of the tubing at a 45 degree angle so it is pointy, the two layers will not bond together. I hope you can help me with something as the gluing part is not working for me. Note: all of the materials for this project are re, aluminum and steel.