Incredible 3D ‘Cocooner’ printer spins intricate web of design (VIDEO)

© Festo Bionic
A new printer capable of spinning complex 3D designs like a caterpillar or arachnid allows designers to actually reset materials during construction.

German tech company Festo has produced a robotic spinneret, which can continuously shape resin-soaked fiber into a number of intricate, free-standing objects.

Guided by a computer-aided design program, the 3D Cocooner’s large robotic arm does much of the manual labor, forming the threaded model and simultaneously drying it with a UV-light.

“During the process, the thread can be reset at any point on the lattice structure, where it continues to build,” Festo explains on its website.

“In this way, it is possible to construct even complex shapes in three-dimensional space without any supports.”

By developing the 3D Cocooner, Festo believes it can cut down on both costs and time by allowing designers to “go digitally from the design to the finished product”.

Images of the robot in action show it building a glass fiber lattice structure to precise measurements in a matter of minutes.

The company has taken inspiration from nature in some of its previous projects, including creating bionic ants and a leaping robot kangaroo.