Us Scot’s are renowned for knowing the true value of money and after purchasing 3 x BlueROV’s for my work in the North Sea oil & gas sector, I decided that it was about time that I built a ROV of my own.
I’m luck enough to own 2 x 3d printers so, thanks to the freely available CAD and STL files I have taken the plunge and I am well on the way to building a scratch built BlueROV.
The first items that I printed were the electronics tray and mount for the servo/camera. I purchased all of the components individually that are required for the electronics housing and I have a fully working setup for the grand total of £211 GBP. Instead of using a set of Fathom -X boards to handle the ethernet comms, I cut up a pair of ethernet over mains electricity adapters and thanks to a guide showing a suitable setup for the OpenROV, I was able to establish surface - subsea comms over a 100m long ethernet cable effortlessly.
I will continue to use this post to document my progress and I will be happy to assist anyone else that may be thinking of going it alone and building a system from scratch.
For anyone that is concerned about using 3d printed parts at depth - don’t be! We have been using 3d printed parts subsea regularly at depths of up to -150m for years with no failures to date. All parts are printed in PLA+ with 100% infill.