I ran across something that I am seriously considering printing – a 3D printed lawnmower that looks like a Roomba. The mower is printed using a simple design and uses Arduino boards that are easily programmable. I’m not a great programmer, but I am assured that the Arduino motor and board programming can be tackled by a beginner to do simple path and reset maneuvers. The body and wheels and even the blade seems so simple and the looks of the mower, dare I say it – sideswipes you since it is kind of cute. Of course it is a lawnmower, so remember that this “cute” also has a blade that cuts things with so appropriate caution should be taken when starting this project.
I ran across the notations on the Ardumower on several websites and the concept was developed by a German aeronautical engineer (there is definitely a pun or two here; rocket scientist cuts a new path, or even rocket scientist mows down traditional lawnmower, etc., etc., etc.)
Andreas Haeuser has several designs that he has done in 3D printing, but the lawnmower really caught my attention. Perhaps it is because I really hate mowing in 100 degree plus heat during the summer or maybe because I like the idea of building a tool that saves me labor by using a 3D printer. The best of both worlds – cool 3D printed application and saves me sweat and time – looks like a winner of a project.
In looking for some YouTube videos of the mower running, I discovered that there is a whole group of remote control and automatic lawnmowers out there that have been 3D printed. Some of the designs look a little iffy for the tough conditions demanded by my large yard, and most require the perimeter wire method of controlling the area to be used. However, there are some users that just simply put down a couple of 2” by 4” boards across areas where they don’t want the mowers to go and set the devices for bump and change direction to get the lawn cut.
These mowers are supposed to do the work while they relax. Note that paths that the mowers cut is a bit more random that you get with a human powered mower, but since they are supposed to do the mowing a few times during the week, the patterns are trimmed out as the mowers work over time.
Some designs use metal blades that they get from hardware stores but I like the idea of using a 3D printed blade with the hope of avoiding cutting off my sprinkler system heads in some areas that the surrounding dirt has been washed out by the downpours in the area recently. And I think that I can use a printed blade that has some weight reduction features to cut down on the amount of materials used while actually giving the blade better reinforcements and impact resistance.
My husband, who patiently nods his head at most of my ideas on things that we could print, got interested in this application and actually made the inquiry of how much materials it would take and how many parts we would have to print to make one. So, I think that he is considering the merits of experimenting. But in the meantime, I’ll hang onto the riding mower and put off that purchase of the hand mower just so he can buy into the concept…
If you would like to see more information on similar lawnmowers done with 3D printers – visit YouTube and see the videos (there are over 200 of them) regarding: “3d printed automatic lawnmowers” If you would like to learn more about one of the most popular printers to do these type of lawnmower parts and more, visit our website at www.engatech.com/products. I would suggest taking a look at the uPrint and the Dimension1200es machines as well as imagining all the things that you could do with a printer.