Example 3D Printed Parts
Here are some example parts that your team could make with a 3d printer to either save funds or improve on customizability.
One of the most common uses, 3D Prints can be used to make mounting brackets for motors, servos, electrical parts, bearings, and various other objects. This provides teams with a great control of precision over how they mount things, and a decreased part count over commercial parts.
Pulleys and Gears
3D Prints can also be used to make your own pulleys and gears. Not only is this a great option for achieving optimal speed and torque ratios, but they save cost as well! A metal pulley typically costs around $10, while a printed one can be as low as 20 cents.
Spacers and Shims
Another common way to utilize 3D prints is to create spacers and shims to constrain objects on your robot, this is both lighter, simpler, and most cost effective (although not always preferred!) than using collars or clamping mounts.
Teams also often use 3D Prints to precisely grip and control each year’s game elements. A common way to do this is a custom shaped claw.
Another common method of using 3D Prints is for creating custom intakes, primarily surgical tubing.
3D Prints can do a whole ton for a robot’s aesthetics as well. While it’s more advanced, multicolor printing like shown below is a great option for teams that like making their robots look good!