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METHOD Pro Series | Robots – All Axis Robotics Case Study

This custom dual-grit robot sander attachment was designed and manufactured in-house by All Axis engineers in under two weeks using a MakerBot METHOD X 3D printer with strong and durable real ABS material. The robot sander automates the time-consuming manual aluminum sanding operation, helping a machine shop to run more efficiently by freeing up personnel for other tasks. It features two sides with different grid sand pads as well as a connection for a vacuum to remove debris.


SIZE 17cm x 15.1cm x13.7cm

VOLUME                                            410 cm3

CAD TO PART                                   66h 15m

PART COST                                       $110 USD

PRINTED ON                                      METHOD X

MODEL MATERIAL                      MakerBot ABS


• Tooling for robotic arms requires tight tolerances close to ±0.007 in (± 0.2 mm) and hole cylindricity for optimal fit and function. • Large overhangs, carve-outs, and other complex part features are near-impossible to machine, requiring Stratasys® SR-30 soluble support material. • All Axis was able to create their part using production-grade ABS.


The engineering team at All Axis used METHOD X to produce custom tooling with approximately 10 minutes of labor time and at an operational cost of $110—compared to 24 hours of labor time at an operational cost of $3,600 with an in-house CNC machine.

This ability to create custom solutions for customers— combined with rapid turnaround times—has helped All Axis gain a competitive advantage against competitors as more manufacturing facilities upgrade new and legacy equipment to meet the increasing demands of industry 4.0 and the modern global marketplace.


By producing the part with an in-house METHOD 3D printer, the team was able to eliminate undesirable factors typical of traditional manufacturing processes, including expensive machinist time and material costs. And by approaching the part design through the lens of freeform additive manufacturing, the engineers were able to 3D model the part quickly without having to account for complex assembly considerations typical of traditional manufacturing processes. The ability to print with soluble Stratasys® SR-30 supports allowed the engineers to design the sander as one complex part, which would’ve been impossible to machine. METHOD’s dimensional accuracy ensured that the part mated perfectly with the robot arm on the first try. The use of production-grade Real ABS printed in a heated chamber produced a very strong and durable tool that is built to last.

In House CNCPrinting on the Method X
MaterialsAluminumABS / Stratasys ® SR-30
Digital Preparation8 hours (CAM programming)5 minutes (slicing)
Material Preparation16 hr (blank preparation, fixturing)5 minutes (material loading)
Run Time12 hours44 hours
Total Labour Time24 Hours +10 minutes
Total Cost$3600$110

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