Flexoskeleton 3D-Printed Insect Robots
University of California San Diego engineers have developed a new method to create insect robots that doesn’t require any special equipment and works in just minutes. “Flexoskeletons” enable them to create soft, flexible, 3D-printed robots, which have both soft and rigid parts. These flexoskeletons are made from 3D printing a rigid material directly onto a thin sheet that acts as a flexible base. Read more for a video and additional information.

They’re 3D-printed with various features that increase rigidity in specific areas, inspired by insect exoskeletons, which combine softness and rigidity for both movement as well as support. Best of all, a single flexoskeleton component takes just 10 minutes to print and costs less than $1. The entire process of printing and assembling a whole robot takes less than 2 hours.

Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer with Removable Build Surface Plate and UL Certified Meanwell Power Supply Printing Size 8.66x8.66x9.84in / 220x220x250mm
  • REMOVABLE BUILD SURFACE PLATE: Provide all-round protection to your 3D printer build plate and ensure consistent temperature throughout the build surface. Easy to remove the printing models after cooling.
  • SAFE POWER SUPPLY: Ender 3 Pro comes with a UL Certified power supply, protecting your printer from unexpected power surges, that can heat the hot bed to 110℃ in just 5 minutes.
  • RESUME PRINT FUNCTION: Ender 3 Pro can resume printing from the last recorded extruder position after suffering unexpected power outages.
  • SEMI-ASSEMBLED KIT: This easy-to-setup kit comes partially assembled, allowing you to learn about the basic construction of 3D printers as you finish putting it together. A fun STEM educational experience in mechanical engineering and electronics.
  • WHAT YOU GET: Ceality Ender 3 Pro 3D pinrter, lifetime technical assistance and 24 hours professional customer service.

We hope that these flexoskeletons will lead to the creation of a new class of soft, bioinspired robots. We want to make soft robots easier to build for researchers all over the world,” said Nick Gravish, a mechanical engineering professor at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego and the paper’s senior author.