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Design and FDM/FFF Implementation of a Compact Omnidirectional Wheel for a Mobile Robot and Assessment of ABS and PLA Printing Materials

Robotics Laboratory, University of Lleida, Jaume II, 69, 25001 Lleida, Spain
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Robotics 2020, 9(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9020043
Received: 23 April 2020 / Revised: 26 May 2020 / Accepted: 27 May 2020 / Published: 28 May 2020
This paper proposes the design and 3D printing of a compact omnidirectional wheel optimized to create a small series of three-wheeled omnidirectional mobile robots. The omnidirectional wheel proposed is based on the use of free-rotating passive wheels aligned transversally to the center of the main wheel and with a constant separation gap. This paper compares a three inner-passive wheels design based on mass-produced parts and 3D printed elements. The inner passive wheel that better combines weight, cost, and friction is implemented with a metallic ball bearing fitted inside a 3D printed U-grooved ring that holds a soft toric joint. The proposed design has been implemented using acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and tough polylactic acid (PLA) as 3D printing materials in order to empirically compare the deformation of the weakest parts of the mechanical design. The conclusion is that the most critical parts of the omnidirectional wheel are less prone to deformation and show better mechanical properties if they are printed horizontally (with the axes that hold the passive wheels oriented parallel to the build surface), with an infill density of 100% and using tough PLA rather than ABS as a 3D printing material. View Full-Text
Keywords: omnidirectional wheel; 3D printing; mobile robot; PLA printing; ABS printing omnidirectional wheel; 3D printing; mobile robot; PLA printing; ABS printing
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Rubies, E.; Palacín, J. Design and FDM/FFF Implementation of a Compact Omnidirectional Wheel for a Mobile Robot and Assessment of ABS and PLA Printing Materials. Robotics 2020, 9, 43.

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