Lean and mean: Building a multifunctional pressure sensor with 3D printing technology

IMAGE: A group of researchers from South Korea establish a unique, multi-directional pressure sensor combined with a temperature level sensor utilizing 3D printing technology that is affordable and scalable to massive production…
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Credit: DGIST

The treatment of lots of medical concerns like irregular gait and muscular conditions need a precise picking up of used pressure. In this regard, versatile pressure sensing units that are basic, light-weight, and affordable, have actually gathered substantial attention. These sensing units are created and produced through “additive manufacturing,” or what is more frequently called “3D printing,” utilizing conductive polymer composites as their foundation.

However, all 3D-printed pressure sensing units established up until now are restricted to picking up used forces along a single instructions just. This is barely enough genuine world applications, which include scenarios where forces can be used along numerous angles and instructions. Moreover, the electrical resistance of many conductive polymers differs with temperature level and should be made up for precise pressure picking up.

In a research study released in Composites Part B: Engineering, a group of researchers led by Prof. Hoe Joon Kim from Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea, have actually resolved this concern with a freshly created multi-axis pressure sensor combined with a temperature-sensing element that conquers the restrictions of standard sensing units. “Our multi-axis pressure sensor successfully captures the readings even when tilted forces are applied. Moreover, the temperature-sensing component can calibrate the resistance shift with temperature changes. In addition, the scalable and low-cost fabrication process is fully compatible with commercial 3D printers,” describes Prof. Kim.

Scientists initially prepared the conductive polymer utilizing multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and polylactic acid (PLA). Next, they constructed the sensor body with a industrial elastomer and picking up product with MWCNTs/PLA composite filament utilizing 3D printing. The sensor is based upon a bumper structure with a hollow trough below and utilizes 3 pressure-picking up aspects for multi-axis pressure detection and a temperature-sensing component for calibration of resistance. The sensor might effectively adjust both the magnitude and instructions of the used force by assessing the reaction of each pressure-picking up component. This bumper structure, when set up in a 3D-printed flip-flop and a hand gripper, allowed clear difference in between unique human movements and grasping actions.

The researchers are delighted about the future potential customers of their 3D-printed sensor. “The proposed 3D printing technology has a wide range of applications in energy, biomedicine, and manufacturing. With the incorporation of the proposed sensing elements in robotic grippers and tactile sensors, the detection of multi-directional forces along with temperature could be achieved, heralding the onset of a new age in robotics,” remarks an ecstatic Prof. Kim.

Indeed, those are some fascinating repercussions to eagerly anticipate!



Authors: Hang-Gyeom Kim1, Sugato Hajra1, Dongik Oh1, Namjung Kim2, Hoe Joon Kim1,*

Title of initial paper: Additive production of high-performance carbon-composites: An incorporated multi-axis pressure and temperature level tracking sensor

Journal: Composites Part B: Engineering

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesb.2021.109079

Affiliations: 1Department of Robotics Engineering, Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST)

2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Gachon University

*Corresponding author’s e-mail: [email protected]

About Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST)

Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST) is a widely known and highly regarded research study institute situated in Daegu, Republic of Korea. Established in 2004 by the Korean Government, the primary goal of DGIST is to promote nationwide science and technology, in addition to to improve the regional economy.

With a vision of “Changing the world through convergence”, DGIST has actually carried out a wide variety of research study in numerous fields of science and technology. DGIST has actually accepted a multidisciplinary technique to research study and carried out extensive research studies in a few of today’s most essential fields. DGIST likewise has state-of-the-art-infrastructure to make it possible for advanced research study in products science, robotics, cognitive sciences, and interaction engineering.

Website: https://www.dgist.ac.kr/en/html/sub01/010204.html

About the author

Hoe Joon Kim, an assistant teacher of Robotics Engineering at DGIST, is amazed by micro/nanofabrication methods and the combination of emerging nanomaterials with micro/nanodevices. He made a PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, USA. He was a post-doctoral scientist at Carnegie Mellon University’s Micro and Nano Systems Laboratory in the USA, where he dealt with the advancement of low-power low-noise piezoelectric MEMS resonators for picking up and frequency control applications. His research study locations likewise consist of piezoelectric MEMS resonators for RF cordless interaction, chemical/physical picking up, and ecological tracking.

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