I build robots that ... err ... build robots?

3D printing is a fantastic technology. From the simplest additive or subtractive platforms, each "printer" is a robot with complex electronics, actuators, and tool heads. And they are self replicating (pause for dramatic effect).

As I mentioned in this blog before, I'm teaching young adults how to "imagineer" as we build a MendelMax II. Here is a video of a MendelMax printing a replacement structural element.

This element is typically extruded aluminum but the printed version will be almost as strong and will float. (hmm is floating really important?)

Recently I was asked to present to Elementary and Kindergarten children (at Chiaravalle) about my work and what I'm doing with the Middle School. It was a fun time. Young children's minds are so beautiful. And the questions!!! One child asked me if the melted plastic emits carcinogenic gasses. Another was concerned about 3D printers causing job losses. I had to keep poking and reminding myself that these were young children. It was a simply brilliant discussion.

Here is a shot of my "Presentation-in-the-round."

Joe Presenting

Personally, I've just completed upgrading my 2008 Cupcake with new Generation 4 electronics, a Mark 6 tool head, and a heated build pad. You can see her in the picture above.