University of Twente Student Theses


Towards additively manufactured complex robotic systems

Schouten, Martijn (2017) Towards additively manufactured complex robotic systems.

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Abstract:In this study an attempt is made to make progress towards a new way of fabricating robotic systems. The envisioned fabrication process consist of additive manufacturing of the entire robotic system, including actuators and sensors, in one go. This work focuses on the development of printed actuators. The aim is to work towards an actuator that is similar to a human muscle in strain, energy density and operating frequency. The type of actuator that is fabricated in this work is a Dielectric Elastomer Actuator. Which is an electrostatic actuator that consists of a thin layer of soft electrically isolating material in between two thin layers of soft conductive material. It is demonstrated how the expected performance of a dielectric that can be printed using a consumer grade fused deposition modelling 3D printer, can be increased by using a plasticizer with a high dielectric constant. However this plasticizer is incompatible with the currently available flexible conductive filament. Furthermore, as a proof of concept, an actuator has been fabricated that has shown to be able to bring a cantilever into oscillation. The resulting oscillation showed a deflection of 1.8 um.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:53 electrotechnology
Programme:Electrical Engineering MSc (60353)
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