January 1, 2016 by admin 0 Comments

Hybrid 3D Printing and Casting Manufacturing Process for Fabrication of Smart Soft Composite Actuators

Kim Min-Soo, Song Sung-Hyuk, Kim Hyung-Il, Ahn Sung-Hoon
Intricate deflection requires many conventional actuators (motors, pistons etc.), which can be financially and spatially wasteful. Novel smart soft composite (SSC) actuators have been suggested, but fabrication complexity restricts their widespread use as general-purpose actuators. In this study, a hybrid manufacturing process comprising 3-D printing and casting was developed for automated fabrication of SSC actuators with precision, using a 3-D printer (3DISON, ROKIT), a simple polymer mixer, and a compressor controller. A method to improve precision is suggested, and the design compensates for deposition and backlash error (maximum, 170μm). A suitable flow rate and tool path are suggested for the polymer casting process. The equipment and process costs proposed here are lower than those of existing 3D printers for a multi-material deposition system and the technique has 200μm precision, which is suitable for fabrication of SSC actuators.