Analysis crew unlocks new technique to 3D-print advanced, useful elements for tender robotics


Use of yield stress hydrogels to 3D-print useful tender elements for tender robotics with a excessive diploma of complexity. Credit score: SUTD

A crew of researchers from the Singapore College of Know-how and Design (SUTD) has developed a brand new method for adopting the Freeform Liquid 3D Printing (FL-3DP) know-how to 3D print extra sturdy and geometrically advanced elements for tender robotics.

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FL-3DP is an emerging technology with excessive potential that allows the 3D printing of multi-material useful elements. It makes use of gel as a brief suspension media wherein inks are extruded and held in place. As soon as the inks are solidified, the gel can then be simply washed off.

This method overcomes two main limitations confronted in current 3D printing applied sciences. Firstly, it permits the 3D-printing of supplies that take a very long time to solidify when extruded. Secondly, resulting from its potential to carry inks and preserve them within the liquid state, superior geometries akin to overhanging buildings shapes with high-aspect ratios or advantageous combos of a number of supplies have now grow to be a possible choice.

Nevertheless, early FL-3DP was discovered to have restricted options when fabricating superior elements, as solely mono-material buildings or easy shapes akin to meshes and shells may very well be demonstrated. The absence of extra advanced demonstrators, regardless of the guarantees of this know-how, may very well be partly defined by difficulties in controlling the interfaces between the inks and helps, thus difficult the printing decision.

By way of an in-depth research of the rheological properties and interfacial stabilities between inks and assist gels, SUTD researchers managed to raised predict the filament form, which led to improved printing decision and constancy.
FL-3DP of sensorized composite cleeves. Credit score: SUTD

This final result enabled the complete exploitation of FL-3DP know-how by means of the fabrication of advanced elastomeric-based elements combining a number of supplies and the enhancement of the vary in advanced geometrical prints. Their paper “Freeform Liquid 3D Printing of Gentle Useful Elements for Gentle Robotics,” which summarizes these key findings, was printed in ACS Utilized Supplies & Interfaces.

To exhibit the benefits of FL-3DP over conventional manufacturing approaches together with casting and molding, the researchers designed and fabricated superior pneumatic elements for soft robotics functions particularly utilized in tender grippers. By combining stiff, tender and useful elastomers, they had been capable of exactly management the form deformation of the elements, to tune their functionalities by adjusting the friction of soppy gripper surfaces or by offering sensing capabilities, and improve the lifespan of elements by as much as ten instances in comparison with their conventional solid counterparts.

These outcomes are a part of a world effort to mark a brand new period for extrusion-based 3D printing through the use of appropriate suspension media. This enhanced method additionally affords a broader design area to designers and engineers, and may gain advantage many functions, akin to tender robotics the place advanced and sturdy combos of a variety of supplies and functionalities are required.

The crew is now engaged on widening the vary of processable supplies by growing new suspension media which can be chemically suitable with extra inks.

“FL-3DP and different new extrusion-based additive manufacturing processes are getting us nearer and nearer to the final word goal purpose of full direct co-fabrication of advanced useful techniques akin to robots and different advanced useful merchandise and units,” stated principal investigator Assistant Professor Pablo Valdivia y Alvarado from SUTD.

Unique method to fabricate freeform structures of thermoplastics in microparticulate gels

Extra info:
Théo Calais et al, Freeform Liquid 3D Printing of Gentle Useful Elements for Gentle Robotics, ACS Utilized Supplies & Interfaces (2021). DOI: 10.1021/acsami.1c20209
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Singapore University of Technology and Design

Analysis crew unlocks new technique to 3D-print advanced, useful elements for tender robotics (2022, April 7)
retrieved 11 April 2022

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