Jul 28, 2016 |

BCN3D Technologies, a Barcelona-based organization supported by Fundació CIM, has developed theBCN3D Moveo, an open-source, 5-axis, 3D printed robotic arm. The device, which can be reproduced at a low cost, is powered by an Arduino microcontroller.

Designed from scratch and developed by BCN3D engineers in collaboration with the Generalitat de Catalunya’s Departament d’Ensenyament (Department of Education), the BCN3D Moveo is an Arduino Mega 2560-powered, 3D printed robotic arm which could enable schools and colleges in Spain and elsewhere to teach students the basics of robotics, mechanical design, and industrial programming. When the Departament d’Ensenyament approached BCN3D one year ago regarding the possibility of an educative robotics project, the tech organization jumped at the chance to get on board.

Studying technical and engineering-based subjects can be an incredibly rewarding and profitable experience, but it can also come at a cost. After noting the rising prices of materials required by students completing their internships, the Departament d’Ensenyament believed that, by developing a low-cost robotic arm in conjunction with BCN3D, they could help students to save money, since the arm could be used to practice mechanical design, automatism, and more.

After a lengthy design and manufacturing process, BCN3D and the Departament d’Ensenyament established 15 workshops at various educational institutions in Catalonia, at which students now have access to the Moveo in their classrooms and laboratories. From September, BCN3D will run an internship program through which students will be able to work on the robotic arm, learning programming and robotics skills throughout the process.

An important part of the BCN3D Moveo is its open-source nature. As with all of its previous projects, BCN3D has made the files for the arm available on Github, where users can obtain the information—bill of materials, STL files, CAD files, etc.— to build and customize their own Moveo, at home or in the classroom. Unlike other BCN3D products, however, the Moveo won’t be commercialized, with users encouraged to build their own, free of charge.

The Departament d’Ensenyament and BCN3D Technologies have encouraged users of all abilities to try building the Moveo, with “no highly technical knowledge needed” to assemble and program the robotic arm. Makers can share their results on social media with the hashtag #BCN3DMoveo.

“BCN3D Technologies is a Fundació CIM project with a clear goal: change the way the world is made,” the company writes. “We offer to society the possibility of having access to digital manufacturing technologies, including them as an active asset. We design and create domestic and professional 3D printers in a way that the user can learn with every print, thanks to our Open Source working method. Thus we transfer to society all the technical learning obtained during our product development.”


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