Abstract

The current study presents the development and validation of a compliant Delta robot with a monolithic structure, which has been fabricated using additive manufacturing (AM). The monolithic design and the use of AM accelerate the robot development cycle by enabling rapid prototyping and deployment while also facilitating experimentation with novel or different robot kinematics. The use of flexible joints for robots presents a challenge in achieving sufficient workspaces. However, parallel architectures are well-suited for incorporating compliant joints, as they require lower ranges of motion for individual joints compared to serial architectures. Therefore, the Delta configuration was chosen for this study. Finite Element Method (FEM) simulations have been utilized as a means to guide design choices and simulate the structural behaviour of the robot. A Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) technique has been adopted to minimize the need for support structures and maximize mechanical strength. The quantitative evaluation of the Delta's overall performance has been conducted in terms of stiffness and precision. The stiffness test aimed to gauge the robot's ability to withstand applied loads, whereas the repeatability test assessed its precision and accuracy. This approach offers a promising path for robot design with significant potential for future advancements and practical applications while highlighting the trade-offs that designers should consider when adopting this methodology.

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