1D Printing of Recyclable Robots

Daniel Cellucci, Robert MacCurdy, Hod Lipson, Sebastian Risi

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Recent advances in 3D printing are revolutionizing manufacturing, enabling the fabrication of structures with unprecedented complexity and functionality. Yet biological systems are able to fabricate systems with far greater complexity using a process that involves assembling and folding a linear string. Here, we demonstrate a 1D printing system that uses an approach inspired
by the ribosome to fabricate a variety of specialized robotic automata from a single string of source material. This proof-ofconcept system involves both a novel manufacturing platform that
configures the source material using folding and a computational optimization tool that allows designs to be produced from the specification of high-level goals. We show that our 1D printing
system is able to produce three distinct robots from the same source material, each of which is capable of accomplishing a specialized locomotion task. Moreover, we demonstrate the ability
of the printer to use recycled material to produce new designs, enabling an autonomous manufacturing ecosystem capable of repurposing previous iterations to accomplish new tasks.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1964-1971
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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