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Micromachines (Basel). 2019 Jan 10;10(1). pii: E46. doi: 10.3390/mi10010046.

Investigating the Potential of Commercial-Grade Carbon Black-Filled TPU for the 3D Printing of Compressive Sensors.

Author information

1
Politecnico di Bari, Dipartimento di Meccanica Matematica e Management, Viale Japigia 182, 70126 Bari, Italy. claudio.manganiello@tiscali.it.
2
Politecnico di Bari, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica e dell'Informazione, Via Re David 200, 70125 Bari, Italy. david.naso@poliba.it.
3
Politecnico di Bari, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica e dell'Informazione, Via Re David 200, 70125 Bari, Italy. francesco.cupertino@poliba.it.
4
Politecnico di Bari, Dipartimento di Meccanica Matematica e Management, Viale Japigia 182, 70126 Bari, Italy. oraziofiume@libero.it.
5
Politecnico di Bari, Dipartimento di Meccanica Matematica e Management, Viale Japigia 182, 70126 Bari, Italy. gianluca.percoco@poliba.it.

Abstract

The present research aims to exploit commercially available materials and machines to fabricate multilayer, topologically designed transducers, which can be embedded into mechanical devices, such as soft or rigid grippers. Preliminary tests on the possibility of fabricating 3D-printed transducers using a commercial conductive elastomeric filament, carbon black-filled thermoplastic polyurethane, are presented. The commercial carbon-filled thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), analyzed in the present paper, has proven to be a candidate material for the production of 3D printed displacement sensors. Some limitations in fabricating the transducers from a 2.85 mm filament were found, and comparisons with 1.75 mm filaments should be conducted. Moreover, further research on the low repeatability at low displacements and the higher performance of the hollow structure, in terms of repeatability, must be carried out. To propose an approach that can very easily be reproduced, only commercial filaments are used.

KEYWORDS:

3D printing; additive manufacturing; filament freeform fabrication; flexible; fused deposition modeling; transducer

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