Robotics / Technology

Bushwick 3D-printing company unveils robot arm for ‘harvesting’ the printers

Dubbed “Project Skywalker” the robot arms will increase the factory's capacity 400 percent, its cofounder says.

Voodoo's robotic arm. Look at it go. (GIF via YouTube)

Voodoo Manufacturing unveiled Tuesday its newest tool for increasing productivity: a robotics system called Project Skywalker.

The robot, which looks like an Inspector Gadget arm, will be able to remove the plates on which items have been printed and replace them with fresh ones. So far the project is just a demo, but a fully operational system is the goal.

“[This] is a huge deal for us because automation is a key to how we’re going to reduce costs and compete for the $200B injection molding market,” Voodoo cofounder Max Friefeld wrote in an email. “Voodoo’s factory employees spend approximately 10% of their working hours harvesting printers. By using a robot to harvest our printers, we can increase our factory’s capacity by close to 400% from what it is today.”

In January, Voodoo raised $1.4 million to build out its team of human workers, with an eye toward building its own factory in the future. We also reported it was part of Y Combinator’s winter cohort.

“It’s going to allow us to keep our factory up and running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” cofounder Jonathan Schwartz said in a video.

Companies: Voodoo Manufacturing
Series: Brooklyn

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