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Published on Jun 21, 2009
Rapid Prototyping Using Legos.
(note: CAD files were made in MLCad, not LDraw, as some of you have pointed out....)
For Mechanics of Manipulations (16-741) at CMU in Spring 2009, Gurdayal Koonjul and Ned Fox (me) made a system for the rapid prototyping of Lego structures. Modelling the structure in MLCad (a free Lego CAD program), the save file is parsed in MATLAB and the output file is then sent to a DENSO 6-DOF arm. The arm picks pieces up from pre-determined locations and places them where they belong.
As this was only a semester-long project, there is lots of work still to be done, namely: -Using webcam to find the correct pieces rather than pieces lying on a template. -Being able to construct part even if the lines of data in the save file are not already in the correct order (ie top pieces first rather than bottom pieces first). -Being able to place pieces that have been rotated about axes other than the Z axis. -Other interference problems with end effector. -Being able to parse another CAD file format (Solidworks, ProE, etc) and build that model using Legos.
If anyone is more interested, let me know and I can provide more information on what we've done and some problems we encountered.