3D Printing! And robots! (Two things we happen to love)

3D Printed Robots You Can Print, Build or Buy

3d printed robot

Fancy a 3D printed robot for your home? Here’s a list of the best 3D printed robots you can print in one go, assemble or even buy as a kit.

Robots! We just love them: 3D printing and robots are a match made in mechanical heaven. So, we’ve made a short list on the best 3D printed robot projects you can find out there. This list is divided into two parts.

  1. Working programmable 3D printable robots that are programmable, move and actually do things. They usually have to be assembled, which takes some basic knowledge of electronics and 3D printing. Their “brains” usually are powered by an Arduino, Raspberry Pi or other microcomputers. Start right here.
  2. Printable 3D printable robots (without a function) for your shelf, desk, etc. They can be 3D printed in several parts or one go. Jump here to see them.

Programmable 3D Printed Robot #1: BQ Zowi

3D printed robot Zowi

What is it: The Zowi is a bipedal 3D printed robot. It’s is aimed especially at children. It was invented by Spanish telecommunications company BQ, which also have a 3D printing division. It’s marketed as a toy, but the Zowi actually can do a lot more. Straight out of the box it can walk, dance, go around obstacles thanks to sonic sensors and an internal microphone. Things get even more interesting when you add a Bluetooth sensor. Then you can start to program the Zowi with a free app, which is especially targetted at kids, but also provides hours of fun for adults.

If you want another look for your 3D printed robot, you should take a check out the amazing mods the 3D printing community came up with.

Complexity: Low to medium.

Where can I get it? The design files are free. You can find them at Thingiverse and the instructions a Github.

Price: Free 3D printable robot. Assembled Kit costs around $110.

Programmable 3D Printed Robot #2: Poppy Humanoid

3D printed robot Poppy humanoid-skating

What is it: Coming from INRIA’s Flower laboratory, Poppy Humanoid is an open-source machine (both hardware and software). It is using 3D printed parts and Dynamixel servomotors. This allows for anyone (artists, educators, developers or scientists) to freely use the designs and hack the 3D printed robot in their very own way. All the files you need are on Github. Poppy Humanoid 3D printed robot has already been adopted by schools and universities as an exploration and research platform. It’s also an ideal to learn about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

And it’s big! The Poppy Humanoid weighs 3.5 kilograms and stands 83 centimeters tall. It runs on Odroid XU4 with Ubuntu 14.04, has 25 actuators, a large FOV and HD camera.

Complexity: High – don’t expect to build it over the weekend.

Where can I get it? From Génération Robots.

Price: €6420 without 3D structural parts, €9000 fully assembled. As an alternative, you can build and 3D print it with these instructions.

Programmable 3D Printed Robot #3: PLEN2


What is it: The PLEN2 is an adorable little 3D printed robot. It started with a successful Kickstarter campaign, that stayed on track and now delivers the 3D printable robots to their backers.

PLEN2 is a robot kit consisting control boards, servo motors and accessories that you can put together yourself. It runs on a hackable, modular, humanoid robot development platform. A node.js interface and API have been created to enable apps and other computers on the network to interface with the robot via Wi-Fi. You can even steer the 3D printed robot with a Playstation Gamepad as a remote control.

The PLEN2 isn’t very complicated PLEN2 to build, and thanks to 3D printing, personalizing it works like a breeze.

Complexity: Low to medium, depending if you order a fully assembled 3D printed robot or a kit.

Where can I get it? At the PLEN webshop.

Price: The 3D printed robot PLEN2 comes in four flavors:

  1. The kit can be bought $580.
  2. A partially pre-assembled kit will set you back $930.
  3. The finished model is currently out of stock. (July 2016)
  4. The Developer Edition costs $1130.

Programmable 3D Printed Robot #4: RoboEve Xpider

3d printed robot roboeve xpider

What is it? In August 2015, Beijing-based Roboeve began by modifying an off-the-shelf children’s toy (the Nerf ‘TerraDrone’) to enable first person view. A year later, they deliver only one 3D printed robot, but 26 different designs you can choose from.

Standing “tall” with just 85mm tall and weighing no more than 150 grams, this is – according to their makers –  “the world’s smallest programmable robot spider”. The 3D printable Xpider is powered by an Intel Edison board and is capable of facial recognition, obstacle avoidance, and smartphone control. The 3D printed robot is powered by the software SmartNode, which allows programming by simply drag and drop instructions.

The robot can even be trained using a simple neural network.

Complexity: Medium. You can choose from 26 different 3D printable designs with 40 parts each. Roboeve claim each design has been tried, tested, and improved over 1,800 hours of research and development.

Where can I get it? Download the files for free at Wevolver. Instructions also here.

Price: The design files for the 3D printable robot are available for free, you just have to buy the “ingredients”.

Programmable 3D Printed Robot #5: InMoov


What is it: 3D printed robot InMoov is the brainchild of Gael Langevin, a French sculptor, and designer. It is conceived as a development platform for Universities, Laboratories, Hobbyist, but first of all for Makers. The hand of this model, which appeared on the web in 2012, was also the first open source 3D hand prosthetic that was available on the Internet.

This 3D printable robot can be replicated on any home 3D printer with a 12 x 12 x 12cm area.

Complexity: High. There’s no pre-built kit available, so you have to everything on your own. As Gael Langevon puts it: “It does not require particular skills. You will learn making it. A good starting point if you have no experience with servomotors or/and Arduino is to make the finger starter kit. If you can do it, you are ready to build a full InMoov robot.”

Where can I get it? You find all the information you need to build this 3D printed robot at the inmoov site.

Price: All the designs are free.

Programmable 3D Printed Robot #6: Randy Sarafan’s 3D Printed Robot

3D printed robot Instructable Simple Bots

What is it: When it comes to building things, Randy Sarafan is sort of a maker legend.  He founded the Instructables Design Studio, offers 280 Instructables, wrote the books “Simple Bots”(out of print) and 62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer.

His unnamed 3D printed robot is fairly easy to print and assemble over a weekend. It is programmable and can walk. You just need a 3D printer, servos, an Arduino, a 9-volt battery, some nuts and bolts – and four pencils.

Complexity: Low.

Where can I get it? At Instructables.

Price: Free, no kit available.

Programmable 3D Printed Robot #7: JD Humanoid


What is it:

JD is a humanoid 3D printable robot kit built with a system called “ez-bits”, invented in Canada. This humanoid robot doesn’t empty your wallet but is also programmable and flexible. JD boasts 16 degrees of freedom with its servo motors. He is capable of walking, dancing, playing piano (sort of) and anything that you program him.

The camera in the head of this 3D printed robot can be used for vision recognition to track color, motion, glyphs, QR codes, faces and more. Also, the “eyes”, which consist of 18 RGB LEDs, can be programmed and animated. The  grippers are powered by metal geared servo motors, allowing your robot to interact with soft, light objects like colored foam balls.

The included EZ-Builder Software lets you to create movements, programs even and personalized mobile apps.

Complexity: Low.

Where can I get it? From EZ Robot.

Price: $430, no kit available.

Programmable 3D Printed Robot #8: Apogee – Raspberry Pi Robot

3D Printed Robot Apogee - Raspberry Pi Robot

What is it: This lovely little robot isn’t very fast, but very reliable and his battery life is excellent. All the parts for this 3D printed robot are easily available on eBay for under $80. Designed for something as small as the Up! Mini.

Complexity: Low. Should make a nice weekend project.

Where can I get it? At MyMiniFactory.

Price: It’s free; not kit available.

Programmable 3D Printed Robot #9: Bob the Biped 

3D printed robot Bob the Biped Robot

What is it: Meet Bob. Bob’s a bipedal machine. As such, he’s made for walking. If you’re a beginner interested in dipping your toe into the world of robotics, this 3D printed robot is the project for you. Bob uses four motors to move his legs. All the movements are controlled by a microcontroller that can be re-programmed via USB. All the parts are common and easy to find.

Complexity: Low. Bob is cheap to build and manageable with no previous experience or know-how, making it accessible to all.

Where can I get it? You find the files at MyMiniFactory.

Price: Free (as in beer).

Programmable 3D Printed Robot #10: GITS Hexapod Tank (T08A2)


What is it: Paulius Liekis, from Lithuania, has been working on a 3D printable replica of the T08A2 / R3000 spider tank from animated cult class, Ghost In The Shell. His 3D printed GITS inspired “Spidertank” is powered by RaspberryPi and can be controlled with a PlayStation controller.

Impressively, to bring this idea to life, Liekis learned some useful skills from scratch. He said: “I had plenty of challenges ahead of me: learning servos and Raspberry Pi, 3D printing. Electronics probably was the toughest challenge – I knew only how to solder and connect a motor or a battery before I started.”

Complexity: Medium – you should have a good knowledge of building things.

Where can I get it? At Wevolver.

Price: It‘s free. No kit available.

Programmable 3D Printed Robot #11: Kongotronic 3000 TIME DEFENDER Clock

3D printed robot Kongotronic

What is it: It’s the mighty Kongotronic 3000 Series TIME DEFENDER, of course. Never again you will be in doubt that time IS BEING STOLEN FROM YOU, but you’ll know precisely HOW MUCH time!

This 3D printed robot, of course, is a clock. So, besides the 3D printed robot shell, you’ll need a quartz clock movement, which is quite easy to obtain. You’ll find then in craft stores or old cheap clocks.

Complexity: Easy. It‘s a fun project.

Where can I get it? At Thingiverse.

Price: It‘s free. No kit available, unless you find this pre-built 3D printed robot on Etsy.

Programmable 3D Printed Robot #12: IMA Juno


What is it: What a cute 3D printed robot! Canadian-based Explore Making have released the IMA Juno as a great introduction to making, Arduino coding, electronics, and 3D printing.

Noah Li-Leger, the designer of the project, said: “Follow Juno’s step-by-step instructions and you will learn about basic wiring, LEDs, Servo motors, and introductory Arduino code. Juno’s 3D printable parts are well designed and optimized for success on any desktop 3D printer. If you’re looking for an in-depth 3D printing project, Juno is a great place to start!”

You can also control the 3D printed robot with an Android (pun intended) app.

Complexity: Beginners to Intermediate.

Where can I get it? At Wevolver.

Price: It‘s free.

3D Printed Robot #13: Marvin


What is it: Marvin is the mascot of 3D printing cluster 3D Hubs, launched to be the “symbol of the 3D printing movement. Marvin’s core ethos is about community, creativity, social change, and problem-solving. He’s determined to revolutionize the way we make things through 3D Printing.”

Ohm Marvin also makes a great key chain.

Complexity: Easy.

Where can I get it? At Thingiverse.

Price: It‘s free.

3D Printed Robot #14: Ultimaker’s Test Model

3d printed robot ultimaker
What is it: Speaking of mascots: This robot is the mascot of the 3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker. Like Marvin, it has become an icon not only of 3D printed robots but 3D printing itself. It comes on the SD card of every new Ultimaker.

Complexity: Easy. Easy.

Where can I get it? At Youmagine.

Price: It‘s free.

3D Printed Robot #15: Android Fridge Magnet

3D printed robot Android

What is it: We’re not through with mascots yet. This 3D printed robot depicts the famous mascot of the Android smartphone platform. There are a ton of Android breeds on Thingiverse, but we chose this fridge magnet, so it serves a purpose.

Complexity: Easy.

Where can I get it? At Thingiverse.

Price: It‘s free. You’ll need some magnets, though.

3D Printed Robot #16: Robotica

What is it: Robotica is a real beauty. As an articulated doll, this 3D printed robot has fully movable joints, which are held together by elastic cords. Print it, paint it and admire it. It was designed by Sonia Verdu.

Print it, paint it and admire it. 

Complexity: Easy.

Where can I get it? At Thingiverse.

Price: It‘s free.

3D Printed Robot #17: Bender 


What is it: Yes, it’s Bender from Futurama, in all his glory. All you need to do is to 3D print some parts and assemble them. This Bender model has undergone already a lot of iterations, so it should turn out great on any 3D printer.

Complexity: Easy.

Where can I get it? At Thingiverse.

Price: It‘s free.

3D Printed Robot #18: Wall-E

What is it: So, after you’ve seen the movie “Wall-E” with your kids, you turn on your printer and have a shot at this lovely 3D printed robot. It‘s a simplified version of the classic Disney movie hero.

Complexity: Easy. There’s a more detailed model here, but this takes some 3D printing experience.

Where can I get it? At Thingiverse.

Price: It‘s for free.

3D Printed Robot #19: Jointed Robot

What is it: Another great 3D printed robot from Sonia Verdu, which did Robotica. This jolly figurine can be positioned in any pose you want. Great for drawing, by the way.

Complexity: Medium – you have to assemble the parts.

Where can I get it? At Thingiverse.

Price: It‘s free.

3D Printed Robot #20: Vertex2


What is it: It‘s an updated version of a previous posable 3D printed robot action figure. The Vertex not only looks great, but it was modified and revised quite often, so it should be a fairly easy print.

Complexity: Medium – some assembly required.

Where can I get it? From Thingiverse.

Price: It‘s free.

3D Printed Robot #21: Terminator T-800 Redux


What is it: No 3D printed robot list would be complete without the legendary Terminator T-800 skull. There are several builds, makes and remixes of this iconic movie prop. Pick the one you like most. The print should be

Complexity: Easy.

Where can I get it? At Thingiverse.

Price: It‘s free. And you don’t have to register at Skynet.