3D Cocooner From Festo Spins Web In Mid-Air

The 3D Cocooner developed by Festo is a device that builds three-dimensional shapes using a special resin-coated thread extruded from a computer-controlled spinneret.

(3D Cocooner from Festo)

In order to convert the soft thread into a solid lattice structure, it is covered with a special resin in the spinneret. As soon as it comes out of the spinneret, a UV light cures the resin-soaked fibre with pinpoint accuracy and hardens it into a sturdy little rod. During the process, the thread can be reset at any point on the lattice structure, where it continues to build. In this way, it is possible to construct even complex shapes in three-dimensional space without any supports.

A vertically arranged tripod of type EXPT-45 acts as a handling system for the 3D Cocooner. The high-speed handling system can be controlled quickly and precisely in the space and its manoeuvrability makes it ideal for such a task. The tripod receives the necessary positional data and control signals directly from an animation software program, in which the 3D shape model parametrically generates the desired structure.

The 3D Cocooner is the real-life realization of a device from Things Pass By, a 1945 story by Murray Leinster. This device could be controlled to produce useful artifacts from drawings, which might lead to more graceful designs.

It makes drawings in the air following drawings it scans with photo-cells. But plastic comes out of the end of the drawing arm and hardens as it comes. This thing will start at one end of a ship or a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.
(Read more about Leinster's Plastic Constructor)

Festo is a creative powerhouse; take a look at these previous articles.
 Robot Arm With Fluidic Muscles
Fascinating robotic arm technology is based on the human skeletal structure.
(11/6/2007re: Harry Harrison)
 Yamaha Deus Ex Wearable Motorcycle Concept
Although only a concept, the 'Deus Ex' may remind you of another vision of the wearable motorcycle.
(11/10/2008re: Various)
 Robot AquaPenguins Soar Underwater
This robot has an extremely flexible 'fuselage' or body that helps it move uncannily like a real penguin. Note: this article now has video!
(4/20/2009re: Michael Swanwick)
 Festo Aqua Ray Robot
I love underwater robots. Especially the biomimetic underwater robots. This manta ray robot is amazing with the skin on - or off. With video!
(4/20/2009re: Various)
 WIND Wearable Robot Controller
Robot wirelessly sense, robot do. Kind of like a full-torso waldo.
(2/5/2010re: Robert Heinlein)
 Dark Cloud: The Future Of (Anti-)Social Networking
In which two books, read at the same time, coincidentally make each other more interesting.
(4/2/2010re: Barnes/Lanier)
 Still Dreaming Of Tentacle Arms
Beware the 'long, flexible, glittering tentacles...'
(4/14/2010re: H.G. Wells)
 Festo Biomimetic Bionic Handling Systems
Oh, those guys at Festo are doing more than just dreaming about tentacle arms!
(4/19/2010re: H.G. Wells)
 Festo Bionic Handling Assistant Video
Terrific video presents Festo's robotics work, as described by the engineers who created it.
(9/27/2010re: H.G. Wells)
 Marvin Minsky's Tentacle Arm Video
Even in 1968, it was time to 'Beware the 'long, flexible, glittering tentacles...''
(11/11/2010re: H.G. Wells)
 SmartBird Robotic Bird In Flight
Remarkable biomimetic robot from the Festo corporation (not Tyrell).
(3/29/2011re: Philip K. Dick)
 Festo ExoHand Fine Motor Skill Robotic Hand
'Waldo put his arms into the primary pair before him - all three pairs... came to life.'
(7/5/2012re: Robert Heinlein)
 Most Advanced Robotic Hand?
'Hands I could order from the atomics-engineering equipment companies...'- Robert Heinlein, 1956.
(10/2/2014re: Robert Heinlein)
 Graphene Cytobot - Cyborg Bacterial Spores May Help Astronauts
'[It] had not yet objected to being made over into a portion of an electronic system... '- Philip K. Dick, 1964.
(3/15/2015re: Philip K. Dick)
 eMotionButterfly Ultralight Robot From Festo
'Artificial butterflies darted along invisible beams...'- Roger Zelazny, 1980.
(3/16/2015re: Roger Zelazny)

Read more about Festo's 3D Cocooner.

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