If you have a mechatronics project, a 3D printer may be of great help. Gears, levers, adapters, housings-if your dreams come true, a 3D printer may produce useful parts for you. But what about more complex components, such as sensors and user input devices? Of course, you will never be able to buy something similar from a commercial supplier. right?
Maybe not if A new method of 3D printing metamaterials Leave MIT to get any traction. The project is called “MetaSense” and aims to create a 3D printed compliant structure with built-in elements to sense its deformation.according to [Cedric Honnet], MetaSense structure is based on a grid of shear cells, printed by flexible filaments. Some shearing units are simply structured, but some have opposite walls printed with conductive silk materials. They form a capacitor whose value changes with the distance between the plates and their orientation to each other when the structure is deformed.
The video below shows some simple examples of the overall MetaSense structure, such as switches, accelerometers, and even a complete joystick, all of which are printed with a multi-material printer. Designing these structures has become easier through the software developed by the MetaSense team. The software models the deformation of the structure and automatically selects the best location for the conductive element to be added. Complete documentation of the project There are some interesting future directions, including monolithic printing actuators.
[via MIT News]