3D Printing & Imaging Digital Fabrication

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Maker Dan Olson posted this awesome project to Thingiverse yesterday. It’s a very impressive 3D printable AT-AT walking machine.

Besides the 3D printed parts, all you need is a DC motor, a power switch, a 9v battery clip, and a battery. Olson explains the project on Thingiverse:

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This is a walking model of an AT-AT from the Star Wars films. It is powered by a 9V battery, a 90 rpm motor, and a switch. Everything else is 3d printed using roughly 750 grams of filament.

The entire design includes of 69 individual parts (28 STL files). It sounds like a ton, but most of them are small, easy prints. I printed a complete set of parts in about four days. Depending on how good your printer is, it may take some hours to clean up the parts and assemble them. This is a large model, it’s almost a foot tall. Make sure your printer is large enough to print all of the parts as they cannot be scaled down!

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With 69 parts, this is not a beginner project, but hey, it’s a working AT-AT! Olson writes:

I designed the gear tooth profile to be 3D printing friendly, but you likely will still need to floss the teeth with a file to get them to mesh well.

Many of the parts required a decent amount of clean up work (especially the gears) and you can make good use of files, sandpaper, wood chisels, and super glue. Some of the joints may be a really tight fit and don’t need to be glued depending on your printer.

There are two LiftGear parts that look similar but are mirrored. It’s important to print two of each. The same goes for the two LegPivot parts.

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The resulting walker is a bit fussy and will only walk on smooth floors, but as Olson says, given the complexity of the build, the nature of the AT-AT design, and the fact that it’s 3D printed, he’s amazed and thrilled that it works at all. Here’s a little video showing it in action:

You can see the full project and download the the STL files on this Thingiverse project page.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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