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The BallBot1 Robot Project ...

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Picture of The BallBot1 Robot Project ...
Hi,

I was teaching over 100 small children about robotics for National Robotics Week last year at the Oceanside Boys & Girls Club;
http://www.brainless.org/OB&GC/Photo&Story.html

Then from watching the children really learning I realized that I could build them a little robot to play with;
http://www.opecofthewest.com/MultiMedia/BallBot1/Img_9672-ec.jpg

http://www.opecofthewest.com/MultiMedia/BallBot1/Img_9677-ece.jpg
 
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Step 1: The BallBot1 Robot is born ...

Picture of The BallBot1 Robot is born ...
After I saw that the children loved my little CanBot1 robot and they wanted to take one home ... but I couldn't sell them because it was a bunch of loose parts so I began exploring how to make the CanBot1 into a product using SolidWorks for 3D Modeling & Designing;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YMFBy28ruAQ

The BallBot1 was born;  
http://www.r2pv1.net/BallBot1.Project/BallBot1-01+Calipersc.jpg

Step 2: Exploring other body designs ...

Picture of Exploring other body designs ...
Then as I wanted to build some pre-production prototypes I made a few more changes;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq5mXCvl3YA&feature=player_embedded

Step 3: Accessible Mods ...

Picture of Accessible Mods ...
Now I can fit the Parallax.com Serial HomeWork Board into the robot along with a few LEDs, a laser, a photo sensor and two piezo speakers.  The real secret to the product is the super smart program that creates a small 15-word language for users to communicate back 'n forth with the robot.
http://www.brainless.org/R2Pv1.net/BallBot1.Project/BallBot1P+ParallaxHomeWorkBd.jpg

Step 4: Begin Printing ...

Picture of Begin Printing ...
Now it's time to start printing robot parts!  So I got a 3D Touch printer from BitsFromBytes;
http://www.bitsfrombytes.com/usd/sites/www.bitsfrombytes.com/files/imagecache/product/BFB-3DTouch-Smoke-3D-Printer_0.jpg

Step 5: Print Quality Less than Desired ...

Picture of Print Quality Less than Desired ...
The printer has two heads ...  one for PLA raft & support material and another head for ABS printing plastic for my robot body parts;
http://www.brainless.org/R2Pv1.net/BallBot1.Project/IMG_20120207_194803.jpg

http://www.brainless.org/R2Pv1.net/BallBot1.Project/IMG_20120207_194831.jpg

http://www.brainless.org/R2Pv1.net/BallBot1.Project/IMG_20120207_194732.jpg

Step 6: Another Printer ...

Picture of Another Printer ...
I'm not liking the quality of these parts ... they're good enough for prototyping and finding better ways to design the product, but not quite good enough for me to build and sell a consumer product ... my BallBot1P robot.  So now I've begun exploring other 3D Plastic printers starting with the Z-Corp. Z250 color printer;
http://www.zcorp.com/images/2668_ZPrrinter%20250-office_019-LOW-RES.jpg

Step 7: Prettier Results ...

Picture of Prettier Results ...
Now I'm getting very pretty results!
http://www.brainless.org/R2Pv1.net/BallBot1.Project/zBallBot1P-Printing2.gif

And I'm seeing my designs from a new angle; http://www.brainless.org/R2Pv1.net/BallBot1.Project/Wheels4BallBot1Pc.gif
you have a great series of tutorials and books for solidworks and this is one of the reason that I add your blog in this article