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Wheeled robots equipped with omnidirectional mecanum wheels have been playing a gradually more important role in many industrial branches. Owing to them processes can be quicker, cheaper and more precise, which results in factories becoming leaner.

AJmaker also follows the concept of Lean Management – they printed a mecanum wheel prototype in 3D. The application of the technology helped to save time and money and improved the product availability for smaller enterprises, including start-ups, as well as for electrical engineers, designers, and architects.

Mecanum wheels from AJmaker are featured with nine rollers which make a robot able to any direction without turning and maneuvering. The function is very important and useful in small areas and in narrow passages with no room to perform complex movements.

Mecanum wheels printed in 3D technology

Mecanum wheels are particularly popular among architects, handymen and those interested in robotics who use them in their design works and constructions of wheeled robots. The wheels are characterized by high maneuverability and three degrees of freedom when moving on a flat surface: lengthwise and crosswise movement and rotation of the whole platform around its center. They are also featured with a fixing hub, which makes them easy to mount.

Advantages of mecanum wheels:

3 degrees of freedom when moving on a flat surface to ensure lengthwise and crosswise movement and the whole platform rotation around its centre
Fixing hub and easy mounting as well as compatibility with different types of motors
Compatibility with a 4 mm and 8 mm motor shaft
Made of cold-rolled SPCC steel
High damage resistance

Mecanum wheels mounted on a wheeled robot

Verification and improvement

AJmaker engineers have designed and launched their proprietary mecanum wheel. During prototyping and testing, they used a 3D printer from the Polish producer – 3DGence. Owing to 3D printing technology they were able to verify and improve the designed wheels on a current basis – quickly and effectively, and more importantly – at lower costs than usual.

When other methods were employed for making the prototypes, their cost was several times higher. It resulted from high complexity of the prototype – every wheel consists of 12 elements, including 9 made of rubber.

Costs and time of 3D prinitng

The easy and current review of every design stage turned out to be the greatest advantage of implementing 3D printing in the AJmaker design. It is of great importance for research and development works on innovative products as errors on the prototyping stage occur very often. The use of standard manufacturing methods would mean high and unforeseen costs for a contractor. When prototyping with 3D print the manufacturing cost is limited to the cost of material used, whose quantity depends on the weight of the printed item.

3DGence INDUSTRY F340 – industrial 3D printing

3D printing in Industry 4.0

3D printing changes the world. Its advantages including high accuracy, the possibility of printing complicated shapes and free choice of the final shape of items help to optimize a number of processes in a company. One could even say that 3D print is among major technologies responsible for the fourth industrial revolution that we are witnessing. Similarly to the mecanum wheel that mobile robots in the factories of the future are equipped with. AJmaker prints the wheels for small entities but perhaps one-day 3D-printed parts will be more widely used for on-site handling purposes.

 

3D printers find numerous applications in various industries, from automotive to aerospace. Their possibilities of utilization largely depend on the openness of companies to introduce new technologies.
Do you want to learn how 3D printing can improve the processes in your company? Write to [email protected] and ask for a free technical consultation, our engineers will show you how to speed up your production processes and reduce costs.
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