Since almost he beginning of this blog, I've tried to highlight one video featuring a LEGO Technic construction or more occasionally a MINDSTORMS one. They have been 150 now, but some were also the weeks when I've not done it (always because of shortage of time available).
Rarely I also felt compelled to post some video I had just found, despite another had already been posted for that same week, but have been able to keep my strict policy up to now.
However today morning I've seen something that really caught my eye in surprise. It has been posted at other blogs like Engadget and The NXT Step, but I still wanted to give my two cents here at TBs .
Thus this is just another video post...
willgorman (the author of The Flush thing, here highlighted before... just brilliant ideas from this man ) published at BattleBricks one video from his latest creation - MakerLegoBot, a LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 3D LEGO Printer that uses standard LEGO bricks.
Another thing build out of LEGO that itself builds other things out of LEGO... Totally mindblowing as stated at Engadget.com.
This sort of rapid prototyping machine, uses 3 NXT intelligent bricks and 9 NXT motors to put every required brick in its place.
A Java Application that runs on the PC takes an .ldr MLCad file, determines a set of print instructions and then sends the instructions via USB over to the MakerLegoBot for printing. In its actual version this evil machine builds with 1x2, 2x2, 3x2, 4x2, and 8x2 bricks.
The core concept that makes 3D print of LEGO bricks possible, is the sticky grab and axle release mechanism. The printer head selects from an array of LEGO bricks through a feed system, moves to the correct location, and then places each part in its determined spot.
Once a brick is retrieved, the printer head rotates vertically and moves to the exact location where the brick should be placed. The printer then places the brick, and uses an axle based release mechanism to leave the Lego in place. Immediately after placing the Lego, the bottom of the printer head applies pressure to the brick to ensure its proper placement.
This brick stacking and fit process, was exactly what most impressed me. As far as we can see from the video, it seems there are almost no seams between the bricks, so this robot is building even better, tighter and more precisely than many humans building manually.
This robot will be at display in action, at LEGOWORLD (Zwolle) from next friday, however it seems it won't be the only LEGO building LEGO robot, out there...
For a further description and building instructions for this 2.400 brick model, you should refer to the original post at BattleBricks.com.