Local maker turns a 2D mascot into a 3D-printed robot

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Friend of the site, SA maker and Binary Space co-founder Tom Van den Bon recently partnered with internet of things company SiGNL to ask a question: how do you turn a 2D mascot into a 3D-printed robot?

Here’s what Van den Bon had to work off of: a recently-made, friendly-looking robot that lacks a third dimension.


Tom started by redesigning the bespectacled character in OpenScad. Instead of a single-colour, single-piece print, the robot was designed into multiple pieces. All the pieces were then printed in different colours of PLA and assembled.

“[The finished product is] just under 500mm tall and weighs just over 1 kg,” said Van den Bon. “Currently it’s still an empty shell, but the plan is to add some electronics to make it interactive.”


Even looking at the back you can see the added detail: a back panel, a light bulb brain and the fact that the bottom bezel wraps around the back of the head. All details that only came into light once the drawing was turned into a 3D model.

If you’d like to see more stills like the one above, check out the full gallery.

But, we can do you one better: below you’ll find a time-lapse video showing off not only the design process of the robot, but also the printing and assembling processes.

We’re always excited to see more projects like this, so make sure to keep checking back to makers.htxt to see more. Hopefully we’ll also see more from SiGNL, as Tom tells us they’remaking some cool stuff we should see soon.


Clinton Matos

Clinton Matos

Clinton has been a programmer, engineering student, project manager, asset controller and even a farrier. Now he handles the maker side of htxt.africa.