As you know 3D printers are needed to make the molds for soft robots. However, a good quality 3D printer can cost anywhere between two and four thousand dollars. Realistically this means that the soft robotics community is limited to the small percentage of individuals who already own a 3D printer since few will buy one just make soft robots.
To help expand our community, I have developed way to make molds using cardboard and hot glue. These molds can be easily made by hand and do not require any special training. Most importantly, all of the materials and equipment needed to make both the molds and the robots can be purchased for less than $50. This makes it possible for anyone who is interested join the soft robotics community.
Here are some of my projects.
This is a general tutorial on how to make a basic bending actuator.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Soft-Ro ... -Required/
This is a more advanced tutorial on how to make a soft robotic grabber capable of lifting up to five pounds (when attached to an air compressor).