Behind the scenes at Robohand HQ is always a blur of activity. Sometimes I feel like our office is a railway station. People in and out and up and down between the companies’ that keep the same office space. Meetings, meetings, meetings and then hands, designs, teaching, collaboration and innovation.
As part of Robohand’s #EnableOneEnableMany motto we like to teach other people how to manufacture, assemble and fit Robohands and Roboarms. This ensures the quality of the products that are being fitted to individuals is of the same high standard and quality as the original Robohand. Rich sets some pretty high standards but when our students leave Robohand, they understand that we first “do no harm” and they understand why we have taken such care to select each component that is used to build a Robohand.
As part of the training Jody – the Applied Science Chair for the College undertook, was on 3D Printing. How to set up his printers; learn their personalities and all the finicky ins and outs of how to make his 3D printers hum and sing. Dr Schoonmaker explained the college have acquired more than 50 3D printers for use by their pre-engineering students. The idea is to use this emerging technology and work it into the current programs offered by the college, while developing a new curriculum for using 3D printers to create Robohand mechanical devices.
With the strategic alliance that has been formed between Robohand and the College of the Ouachitas, Rich has gone to the USA, to finalise the 3D Printing curriculum (which will be internationally accredited) and officially launch the Robohand Print Farm. As most of you know, setting up your 3D printer is a finicky job and Rich and Jody have to fine tune 53 3D printers! It is a time consuming process starting with giving each of them a name. Those of you that have children will remember the process you went through to choose just the right name for your child; well it’s the same with the printers. Each one is individual and has its own personality, so coming up with 53 names was a job all in its own.
All the build plates have been sanded and levelled. Each colour of PLA has now been tested to ensure quality. The Interns, Pele and Steven, created a College of the Ouachitas key chain with their logo, which was used for the test prints. All the extruders have been fixed and the shelving that houses the print farm has been secured with the trusty zip tie, as movement from shaky shelves could cause damage to the printers’ long term.
Now begins the process of fine tuning each printer to print at its optimal threshold. Once this is complete, the first items that will be printed will be sent to Quentin Harley one of the partners from Robobeast. Quentin designed the award winning Morgan RepRap which you can 3D print the parts to build your own printer.
We are uber excited about this strategic alliance and the thrilling things to come. Further details of the grand opening next week in Malvern, Arkansas will be released closer to the time.