Both robotics and 3D printing have substantially impacted how we view creation, manufacturing, fabrication, and even art. Together, they bring opportunities to mankind that were previously inconceivable, and they are both becoming increasingly accessible to the general public.
For example, we can print human tissues, food, prosthetic arms for our kids, and even our own robotics kits.
Check out the top ten robotics combined with 3D printing companies to watch this year.
AddiBots are a mobile combination of 3D printing and robotics that break the mold of 3D printing practices by allowing mobile robots to rove and print objects according to a pre-programmed design, or to complete functions such as repairs on roads or buildings.
Addibots expand the usefulness of 3D printing by removing the confined workspace limitations associated with 3D printing, effectively increasing the capabilities of machines to print based on the amount of material they can carry or their battery or fuel burn rate.
The PLEN Project Company is producing the PLEN2, a robotics kit that includes control boards, servomotors, and other parts that can be combined into a small, 3D printable humanoid. Their product can be assembled with a screwdriver and little to no prior technical knowledge. They provide the 3D models to let users 3D print and customize their PLEN2 units.
The PLEN2 is 7.87in. tall, contains 18 joints, and weighs approximately 21oz. PLEN can perform simple tasks such as walking or standing up, as well as roller skating and skateboarding. The PLEN2 is controlled via BlueTooth and has a 25min. operation time before needing to recharge.
BioBots is building 3D printers which print living, functional 3D tissue. BioBots is advancing the biomedical industry by allowing necessary tissue to be created in a lab environment and transferred to where it is needed most.
In addition to their 3D tissue printers, BioBots also sells polymers for use in printing living tissue for growth and cell support.
Carbon3D has developed production-scale 3D resin printers that can be used on the factory scale and exhibit significantly shorter print times than traditional 3D printers. The Carbon3D M-Series SpeedCell printers and automated part washers can produce usable parts from one easy workflow.
Carbon3D M-Series printers carry print resolution up to 75µm and can be connected to other smart printing accessories through the Carbon Connector expansion port to create complex production organization.
New Valence Robotics Corporation (NVBots) has developed a 3D printer capable of producing parts composed of different metals in one printing run. NVBots has also developed a plastics 3D printer with an automated print queue and automated part ejection called the NVPro.
The NVPro was developed for use in multi-user environments to allow for easier collaboration and lower production times.
MakerArm is a crowdfunded company that produces a small robotic arm for use with a range of easily interchanged tools to increase project efficiency. The MakerArm platform can be equipped with milling, 3D printing, laser tools, and more.
MakerArm was designed to have an expanded production space as opposed to traditional 3D printing and home manufacturing options. It has a 30in. Production width, and monitors the environment underneath it so that it can be placed and produce where it is needed most.
Branch Technology uses 3D printing robots to enhance the efficiency of construction with a more natural building philosophy. Branch Technology has transitioned away from a central model focused on 3D printed output and focused instead on a more resource efficient model, allowing materials to be combined to produce a finished project.
Branch technology uses more natural geometry for structural framework creation so that the project can be completed with higher ratios of economically viable materials.
Open Bionics is collaborating with Walt Disney and the maker community to create 3D printed prosthetics that children can take pride in wearing. In order to enhance the physical therapy experience for younger patients, Open Bionics is changing the way that prosthetics are viewed by children, modelling them after their favorite Disney characters and heroes.
Their product offerings include the Lightsaber Hand, the Snowflake Hand, and more. Beyond just making the prosthetic option more appealing, they are also working to make prosthetics more affordable for families in need.
Markforged has created a line of 3D printers that can print with metal and carbon fiber to create highly durable parts at reasonable costs–in terms of both time and resources. Markforged printers print with a layer resolution of 50 microns, allowing parts to retain a strength and feel similar to that of injection molded parts.
BeeHex is a B2B company that produces robots and 3D printers for food production. BeeHex products were designed for personalized, time-effective nutrition. BeeHex started on a NASA project to enhance personalized nutrition options. BeeHex 3D food printers and robots can prepare fresh food like pizza in less time than a human can with their hands.