University of Twente Student Theses


Development of a Silicone 3D Printing Process Enabling Embedded Sensors for Soft Robotic Applications

Kappert, S. (2023) Development of a Silicone 3D Printing Process Enabling Embedded Sensors for Soft Robotic Applications.

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Full Text Status:Access to this publication is restricted
Embargo date:18 July 2024
Abstract:Soft robots are inherently safe, adaptive, and tolerant to operating in unknown environments due to the sole use of soft materials. This makes soft robots ideal for applications such as grasping various objects and locomotion over inconsistent terrain. A key concept that currently is being explored to improve the performance and enable the autonomy of soft robots is the addition of sensory feedback. Combining sensing capability with 3D printing has the potential to be a valuable tool for fabricating advanced soft robots. This thesis presents the development of a silicone 3D printing process enabling embedded sensors for soft robotic applications. Materials were selected that meet the challenging demands of soft robots while being compatible with the direct ink writing (DIW) 3D printing process. A conductive silicone composite based on a carbon black filler was developed to enable remarkably soft yet functional sensing structures. The research on this material encompassed processing, characterisation, and 3D printing. Characterisation involved the evaluation of electrical, mechanical, electromechanical and printability properties under various filler concentrations. The findings of this research offer a promising outlook, paving the way for further development of this 3D printing process.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:50 technical science in general, 51 materials science, 53 electrotechnology
Programme:Electrical Engineering MSc (60353)
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