DesignNews recently reported on a new 3D printing innovation by iRobot. You may recall that iRobot had its beginnings at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Its successes include robots for defense and security, such as the Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SUGV), as well as home robots, such as the Roomba vacuum cleaning robot.
iRobot’s recognizes that even though 3D printers act as if they do all the work, the current methods require lots of human labor. So, iRobot Corp. has filed a U.S. patent application for a fully automated robotic 3D printer for manufacturing. The abstract for the patent reads: A fabrication system includes a tool-head for manufacturing, a first manipulator and a second manipulator. The first manipulator supports and manipulates an item, and is configured to provide six-axes of movement for positioning of the item relative the tool-head. The second manipulator carries a component and orients the component at a select orientation relative to the item supported on the first manipulator. The tool-head is configured to add material to at least one of the item and the component. The first and second manipulators provide at least six axes of fabrication for the tool-head.