3X0 - 3D Printed functional exoskeleton concept - Make: Community
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3X0 - 3D Printed functional exoskeleton concept

By Andrea Piccinno

3X0 is a concept of a modular functional exoskeleton. As a concept it's almost fully 3D printed. Functional means that it's meant to provide assistance to the user in different actions. Modular that each of its module can be stand alone.

Type: Social Impact, Education

Website: https://makeprojects.com/project/3d-printable-functional-exoskeleton

State: Turin
Country: Italy
Affiliation: None

Social:

What inspired you or what is the idea that got you started?

My very first inspiration was probably the movie Iron man, after that the desire of building something in the field that I studied that would allow both human enhancement and at the same time assistance in case of needs.

What is your project about and how does it work?

The project is at the concept stage and aims to be a full-body modular passive exoskeleton.
It is composed of different modules such as foot, leg, hip, spine, shoulders, and arms. Each of them can be used separately depending on the need, or eventually joined together into sub-modules or a full-body product.
Passive elements are included (such as mechanical springs, tension bands, and gas springs) in order to provide support to the user in different movements.
The project at the current stage has been printed on an entry-level commercial printer in PLA Plus material, therefore the design of each component and module is strictly related to the limits of such material.
The model has been created fully parametric in order to be adaptable to different body sizes/shapes with some refinements, however, the current concept has been built around a mesh of myself, which has been created with photogrammetry.
The aim of the project is to create a proof of concept for further developments.

What did you learn by doing this project?

I deepened my knowledge in biomechanics by learning how different mechanical joints act when coupled with human body ones.
I learned how to post-process sEMG signals (detected with an Arduino sensor) in order to track and evaluate muscle activity with and without the exoskeleton.

What impact does your project have on others as well as yourself?

The project, if further developed, can help both people in need and workers in everyday life providing a certain level of assistance in repetitive actions. Basically the same idea behind every passive exoskeleton around the world. The main benefit that this project would bring is its accessibility, meaning that would be possible to easily adapt it to different body shapes and allow, with proper instructions, each individual to print its own in order to have a first idea of how these types of devices work (despite the reduced performances respect to commercial ones).

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