Aug 16, 2022

New programmable materials can sense their own movements

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, materials

MIT researchers have developed a method for 3D printing materials with tunable mechanical properties, which can sense how they are moving and interacting with the environment. The researchers create these sensing structures using just one material and a single run on a 3D printer.

To accomplish this, the researchers began with 3D-printed lattice materials and incorporated networks of air-filled channels into the structure during the . By measuring how the pressure changes within these channels when the structure is squeezed, bent, or stretched, engineers can receive feedback on how the material is moving.

These lattice materials are composed of in a repeating pattern. Changing the size or shape of the cells alters the material’s mechanical properties, such as stiffness or hardness. For instance, a denser network of cells makes a stiffer structure.

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