iRobot's Automated 3D Printing Ambitions

By Norman Chan

Robotic fabricator idea goes one step beyond 3d printing.

3ders and Ars uncovered this patent filed by Roomba maker iRobot last June for an all-in-one 3D printing concept that would handle all the post-printing work you would typically have to do by hand after a 3D printer creates an object. iRobot's Robotic Fabricator, as its called, would include not only a print head, but a six-axis "tool head" for removing excess material from a print, applying adhesives, or milling and drilling the object to finish it. The idea looks suited for incorporating 3d printing into factories where industrial robots are the norm, so don't look for a robotic host for the MakerBot Mystery Build anytime soon.