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Thread: Robot Body Shell

  1. Robot Body Shell

    I am interested in building a custom exterior body shell for my robot. I was wondering if anyone has had any luck with poured resin or plastic molds. I have seen a few things on the internet, however it seems you have to get into alot of hardware before you can even start. I started making a white styrofoam shell that is easy to form however it would not hold up with prolonged use, I was going to put a skim coat of auto body putty over it that would give me a finished and paintable shell. But this would increase the weight of the robot and I want to keep it light. Any suggestions would be great.

    LLRB

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    Re: Robot Body Shell

    I 3D printed mine. But I did consider making it a negative and making it a mold for a moment.

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    Re: Robot Body Shell

    I'm a fan of the rutan 'cast/carve foam into shape then coat with fiberglass+resin' construction method, but not used it for robots yet. The resulting composite is very stiff and lightweight (good enough for 'unsinkable' boats and custom airplanes and cars), but can be a bit messy if using styrofoam blocks requiring much material removal.

    Polycaprolactone (PCL, instamorph, etc.) is another material useful for building durable, flexible shells although its biodegradable property means it can easily become coated in biomass when stored in wet conditions. It also has vicious bonding/adhesion to most other plastics when molten so have to be careful trying to mold it around something else if you do not actually want it bonding to that object. It works especially well if looking for cheap/organic designs without access to a 3D printer and can be used to make molds for casting other materials if properly coated with release agents.
    Please pardon the pedantry... and the profanity... and the convoluted speech pattern...
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