This is the first model I ever published, a cute little robot that looks a bit tired but is always happy to hold your cellphone for you.
This robot design is actually a combination of my inexperience at the time and a fair amount of good luck – but it still came out pretty nice.
First version – all In one piece
I started by first deciding what would be a good angle for the cellphone, then I drew a rectangle
in my notebook the size of my phone at the time – and then I continued to draw a robot around it.
After I had this drawing I measured the sizes on paper, adjusted them a little and built the model in SketchUp
The STL exported from SketchUp wasn’t even printable because I didn’t know what I was doing and didn’t even
keep all the faces properly aligned but Microsoft is kind enough to host a free STL repair service (powered by Netfabb)
that quickly fixed all the technical problem with the file.
The first print came out pretty well and I still have it here with me.
The problem with that first version is that it requires support between the body and head –
and this support is really a pain to remove and leaves marks on the front of the body (that you can see in the
image above if you look carefully).
Second version – eliminating the annoying support
After cleaning up the support from the first print I decided that it would be better to
divide the model into two parts and connect them together.
So, I cut the model at the neck and added a connector pin and an hole on the body side of the neck.
The connection is too loose and it needs a drop or two of glue – this is because I miscalibrated my printer and
it was over-extruding so my test print fitted perfectly, after fixing my calibration I left the model as is, this
means it needs a little bit of glue but it also means it is very forgiving to miscalibrated printers.
The end result, once assembled, looks exactly like the first version.
You need to rotate the head STL before printing (make sure the head is flat on the bed, in Cura use the “Lay flat” option), you can print it in one of two orientations:
- Neck up – that should print with no support
- Face up – that will need just a little bit of support but the face will look better
I print both on the same bed, head face up, with support (Cura is smart enough to not generate supports for the body).
Third version – adding a cable guide
The third version adds a little tunnel to let you pass the phone’s USB cable inside the body.
It’s a little bulkier (thicker legs and body) to allow room for the cable, I was very careful with the angles in the
cable guide so no support is needed and the slicer shouldn’t automatically generate any.
Also, surprisingly, if your phones has large rounded corners it’s possible the force of the USB cable pushing the phone will push the phone off the robot.
The cable comes out of the robot’s left side (your left when looking at the robot from the front, right from the robot’s point of view), it does not fit phones where the USB connector in on the bottom, if your phone’s connector is on the right you can mirror the STL.
This version uses the same head as the second version, please read the head printing instructions above in the second version section.
If you print this model please upload a photo to your favorite social media site and leave a comment below,
use the hashtag #NirRobotics if you use a site that uses tagging.