Author Topic: Master Thesis with used Kuka Robot  (Read 1323 times)

LukasK

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Master Thesis with used Kuka Robot
« on: August 05, 2019, 10:20:05 AM »
Hi Im an architecture student that is about to start his masters thesis. Now I would like to dive into the topic of digital fabrication in my thesis.
Therefore I was wondering if you guys have any advice on the feasability of buying a used robot and experimenting with it.
I have the space to put it down etc. My budget would be max. 10.000€. I have a small cnc desktop machine that I´m using for personal projects.
I use Fusion 360(for G-Code) and mainly Rhino 5+6 for modelling.
So I have a bit of experience in the field of cnc milling and such but no experience with robot arms at all.
Is my budget anywhere near enough to get a used Kuka and all the extras to start working with it?
Any tips or ways to approach my idea would be greatly appreciated.

Johannes @ Robots in Architecture

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Re: Master Thesis with used Kuka Robot
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2019, 11:53:34 AM »
Hello Lukas,

10.000EUR is definitely enough for a used robot, the problem is just that the small, used robots are often more expensive than large, used robots - probably because the large robots are more often used in industry.
So if you've got a large space where you can set it up, then you just need to calculate the extra costs for the delivery/setup as well as maybe an electrician for the high-voltage connection.
Most small robots I've seen are more expensive than 10.000EUR. And the compact robots before KRC4 are not really that great, as many were adapted with KUKA controllers, but produced by other companies.
Maybe there's a FabLab around with KUKAs that you could use for your thesis?

A big expense is also safety, however if you're only using it for your own, research purposes than it isn't a real factor.
You could start by contacting KUKA, they're also selling used robots (though they are a bit more expensive than other sellers). Via phone would be my recommendation.
Also, consider founding your own, small company for tax purposes if you buy expensive stuff like robots. But consult with an accountant first!

Best,
Johannes

LukasK

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Re: Master Thesis with used Kuka Robot
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2019, 12:04:10 PM »
I study at Bauhaus University Weimar and unfortunately our robotic/cnc options are limited.
I come from a farm in Germany and my father has a giant shed with concrete floor, so plenty of space even for the biggest robot. We do have a (Starkstromleitung) so I think electricity should work fine as well.
My main concern is to get a kuka robot with krc2 and than not getting it to work because of expensive software costs that I didn`t consider beforehand.
But as I have been reading in the forum it seems that there is the option to take the G-Code from Fusion 360 and use it for the movement of the robot arm, right?
Thanks a lot for your quick and informative answer :)!

Johannes @ Robots in Architecture

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Re: Master Thesis with used Kuka Robot
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2019, 12:15:21 PM »
Hello,

A Robots in Architecture student membership would be 95EUR/year, so a small cost compared to the robot. We've got a component to take G-code from Fusion and turn it into KUKA Robot Language.
But there will be a learning curve on both the software and hardware side, that is clear!

Best,
Johannes

LukasK

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Re: Master Thesis with used Kuka Robot
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2019, 12:44:37 PM »
Yes that sounds great, I will look further into the topic and hopefully be a member soon.
There is no special website or seller you can recommend other than to use google right?

Johannes @ Robots in Architecture

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Re: Master Thesis with used Kuka Robot
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2019, 01:01:30 PM »
Not really from my side, unfortunately. Used-robot-wise we've only dealt with Global Robots in the UK, but I'm sure there are more local options in Germany.

Best,
Johannes