air-powered soft robotic gripper

by:ZHENHUA     2020-09-01
Download file 4-leg-gripper.
Stl or small gripper.
Import stl in page link (
Note: The unit of the file is mm).
If you have or can use a 3D printer, print your own mold.
There are a lot of low
Existing cost \"desktop\" 3D printers on the market, such as Makerbot, Cube, and UP.
* If you are unable to access a 3D printer, you can order molds such as shapes, engraving or iMaterialise from an online supplier.
* Make sure to select materials with smooth surface-
Otherwise it will be difficult (or impossible)
Remove the cured silicone rubber from the mold.
Statement: I tested the direction of printing this project in ABS with UP 3D printer.
I can\'t guarantee that other printers or material types will work well during silicone molding.
It might be a good idea to print a very small test container and do a test cure (
Follow the steps of the rest of the procedure to mix and solidify silicone rubber)
To ensure that you are able to remove the robot from the mold.
Advanced users: If you can use CAD software, you can of course design your own mold instead of using the files provided here.
The chemist\'s paper \"soft robot and its related supplementary materials\" provides a good introduction to molds of different types and shapes (
And the resulting robot movement).
* Note: The 3D printing market is developing rapidly.
The project was originally launched in March 2013 and we cannot predict what new 3D printers, companies and services will appear in the future.
You can always do Google search (
For example \"3D Printing\", \"3D printing service\", etc)
See what\'s currently available and look around for the best option.
Safety precautions: Ecoflex is a kind-On Inc.
There are two bottles of Ecoflex which contain part A and Part B.
Part A and Part B are liquid
When mixed together, they solidify and form silicone rubber (
Within 4 hours at room temperature or 10 minutes at 150 F).
Material is right
Toxic and harmless once cured.
However, according to the material safety data sheet (MSDS)
, \"Repeated or prolonged\" exposure to unmixed materials (
Part A and Part B)
It can cause slight skin irritation.
We recommend wearing disposable gloves when handling unmixed materials.
If you do have Parts A or B on your skin, just wash it off with soap and water.
Use paper or plastic cups to mix Part A and Part B of Ecoflex in A ratio of 50/50 by volume.
You don\'t need to use all of your Ecoflex-fill one cup (
The picture shows a 9-ounce cup)
, Put the lid back on your Ecoflex jar and then save the rest of the material in order to make more robots later.
Stir the mixture for about two minutes.
Optional: If you have edible pigments, mix a few drops with Ecoflex.
Edible pigments pile up into droplets instead of mixing evenly in Ecoflex, so you need to stir very violently to break down the beads.
Pour the mixed Ecoflex slowly into 3D-printed mold.
This material is very sticky so it flows slowly
Don\'t pour too fast!
Fill the mold to the top edge.
Once filled, wait about five minutes for the bubbles to pop out of the mixture.
You can \"pop up\" bubbles with a coffee mixer, pencil or pen to speed up the process.
Optional: If you purchase Ecoflex 00-
50. mix A and B parts in the new Cup (
Don\'t mix with 00-30)
And use it for this step.
Pour the remaining Ecoflex onto a baking tray or cafeteria tray.
Make sure you form a puddle large enough to completely surround the outer perimeter of your plastic mold (
If you don\'t mix enough in step 2, you can mix more).
If you are building multiple robots, you can fill the entire tray.
The layer should be several millimeters thick.
You should now pour uncured Ecoflex into your plastic mold and tray.
Let the material sit for 4 hours and it will heal (solidify)
At room temperature
Optional: If you have an oven and are using a metal tray, you can bake it for 10 minutes at 150 degrees F.
Safety precautions: 1)
Do not use an oven that is also used for food. 2)
Don\'t put a plastic cafeteria tray in the oven. 3)Double-
Check the melting temperature of 3D material-printed mold.
The plastic in the picture is ABS and will not melt at 150 degrees F, but your material may be different.
After 4 hours at room temperature (
Or 10 minutes in an oven at 150 degrees F)
Your Ecoflex should be reliable.
Poke the material with your finger-
It should feel like rubber, but it is no longer sticky.
It should also become more opaque (
Compare the picture in this step with the picture in the previous step).
If the material is still liquefied and glued to your fingers, it takes more time to heal.
Warning: Your metal tray and mold will be hot if you use the oven.
Use oven gloves to remove them from the oven and let them cool before handling them directly.
Starting from the outer edge, carefully peel the cured silicone rubber out of the mold.
Be careful, Peel Slowly
If you peel it too fast, the material may be torn.
Do not remove the cured rubber from the tray.
Use the new cup to mix the new batch of Ecoflex with a 50/50 ratio of Parts a and B
You only need a small amount for this step-
Enough to apply a thin or even coating of about 1mm thick on the plate on the baking tray.
Thin uniform layer (About 1mm thick)of freshly-
Mix silicone rubber on your cured paper.
This forms a \"glue\" layer that binds the top and bottom of the robot together.
It may be helpful to apply the surrounding material with a paper towel.
This step is crucial.
If you use too much silicone rubber, it will block the air passage of your robot.
If you don\'t use enough, the two layers won\'t stick together.
When you pour the material on it and spread it around, give it about two minutes to settle before going to the next step.
Cured rubber removed from the mold in step 7.
This is the top half of your robot.
One side of it should be smooth and one side should have exposed ridges that will form an internal air passage of the robot.
Carefully place the upper half on the fresh layer of the new silicone and the air passage is down.
Apply another layer of fresh silicone rubber using a coffee mixer or Popsicle (
You can mix more if you don\'t have the rest of Step 8)
Around the perimeter of the robot (
Bottom edge, that is, contact with the layer on the tray).
This will help prevent air leakage.
Check if there are embedded bubbles at the top of the robot.
You can apply a small piece of silicone right above these bubbles.
This will strengthen the field and prevent your robot from popping up.
You should also add some enhanced silicone right above the large round central chamber of robotWait for 4 hours at room temperature (
Or bake in an oven at 150 degrees F for 10 minutes.
Follow the security instructions for step 5)
To solidify the \"glue layer\", glue the top and bottom layers of the robot together.
Check that the new layers and seals around the perimeter of the robot are solid and rubber-like (
No longer sticky/liquefied)
Before moving on to the next step.
Carefully tear the whole piece of paper off your tray.
Take care to peel slowly so you don\'t tear the rubber.
If you use the oven, wait for the tray to cool before touching it.
Use scissors to cut on the periphery of the robot to remove excess material.
Be careful not to cut into the robot and pierce the air passage.
To be safe, it is OK to leave a little extra material around the edges.
About one cut-
Foot part of polyethylene pipe.
Cut one end of the pipe at a 45 degree angle to make it sharp
This will make it easier to insert the pipe into the robot.
Puncture the robot from the side, with a angle of 45 degrees between the two \"legs.
Aim at the circular central chamber connecting the four air passages.
It may be helpful to drill holes using sharp things, such as the tip of a pencil or paper clip, before inserting the pipe.
Make sure the end of the tube is wound in the central air chamber. Cut a one-
Inch section of rubber pipe.
Use this part as an adapter to connect your polyethylene pipe to the extrusion bulb.
Note: If you use the Polaroid Super Blower, remove the small rubber block at the end of the plastic nozzle and the 1/8 \"ID rubber tube should be installed directly on the plastic nozzle.
If you are using extrusion bulbs of different brands, you may need to use additional rubber tubes of different diameters as an adapter (
Like the one here).
Promote your brand
New robot gripper!
To fully inflate your robot, you may need to squeeze the bulb more than once.
Can you lift different objects with it?
Be careful not to overdo-
Inflate your Holder
This material is very durable but will eventually become popular.
If your Holder does not work on the first attempt, go to the next step to get the trouble shooting trick.
If you have completed this project, please leave a comment and link to a picture or video of your work!
Does the holder not work?
Here are some of the trouble shooting tips you can try.
Check for air leakage.
If your Holder doesn\'t inflate at all, listen and feel the air leak when you squeeze the bulb.
If you do have a leak, you can patch them with a fresh layer of silicone rubber to get the material cured and try again.
Check the blocked passage.
Lift the holder to a bright light and view the internal air passage.
Can you see all four legs?
If you can only see a part of the channel, or you can\'t see it at all, they can be blocked, which means you use too much \"glue\" in step 9 \".
Unfortunately, there is no way to fix this
You have to start from the beginning.
Fortunately, you should have a lot of Ecoflex left and your molds, extruded bulbs and pipes are all reworkedusable.
Make sure the tip of the air tube is in the central chamber.
Lift your gripper to the light and look for the tip of the air pipe.
Has it been open to the Central Conference Hall?
If you don\'t completely pierce the outside wall of the robot, or push the tube too far and push it to the opposite wall, the end will be sealed off by rubber to prevent air from entering the Channel.
Swing the air tube until the tip is free in the central chamber.
Some legs swell better than others.
If none of your four legs are symmetrically inflated, first check if each leg has a blocked air passage as described above.
If no channel is blocked but the legs are still not symmetrical inflatable, you can apply some extra silicone on the most inflated legs
This will make it harder for them to inflate, allowing more air pressure to be transferred to other legs.
Material has \"non-linear\" behavior
This means that it can\'t expand at all, and then suddenly \"jump\" and expand instead of always expanding with the air pressure.
So if one leg is slightly weaker than the other (
Probably because the wall thickness is slightly different during the molding process)
, It may inflate first when others don\'t inflate at all.
Strengthening this leg with extra silicone may prevent this.
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