Suspended large-scale 3D printing platform
MIT Medial Lab
The SpiderBot is a cable-suspended robotic gantry system that provides an easily deployable platform from which to print large structures. The body composed of a deposition nozzle, a reservoir of material, and parallel winching electric motors. Cables from the robot are connected to stable points high in the environment, such as large trees or buildings. This actuation arrangement is capable of moving large distances without the need for more conventional linear guides, much like a spider does. The system is easy to set up for mobile projects, and will afford sufficient printing resolution and build volume. Expanding foam can be deposited to create a building-scale printed object rapidly. Another material type of interest is the extrusion or spinning of tension elements, like rope or cable. With tension elements, unique structures such as bridges or webs can be wrapped, woven, or strung around environmental features or previously printed materials.