I've mentioned Wayne Losey's Modibot before (and subsequent rantings about using 3D printing for manufacture). The basic "Mo" Modibot is available for download on 3DBurrito. So how well does a model created for SLS printers to use as little material hold up when printing on a home 3D printer?
The first challenge was orienting the pieces for print. I wanted to, as much as possible, avoid supports on the balls and avoid completely supports in the concave joints. I decided to stand up the body and hips, but lay down the rest of the parts.
I started with an ABS print but with my known issue with abs and supports, particularly with spheres, it didn't work. In fact every piece had problems and basically fell apart. So I pulled out some PLA donated by Andrew Mazotta and gave that a shot.
The final result held together just long enough to take a picture. It's possible that scaling it up an additional 20% would fix some of the thickness issues. Dialing in the filament diameter would fix others. And making a version lie Beco Blocks designed for home 3D printers would defiantly fix a lot of the problems. But over all I'd call this experiment "promising, but not completely successful."
I've actually been in contact with Wayne, the creator of the Modibot, and he's expressed interest in making this work, so expect this experiment to continue.