A new gripper that can operate without electronics has been developed using 3D printing technology.

Share this story

3D printing continues to make waves across various industries, and one area that is expected to see an increasing presence is soft robotics. Soft robotics, a subfield of robotics that focuses on using flexible materials, has gained popularity in recent years for its lightweight and adaptable nature. Now, researchers from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) have taken soft robotics to a new level by 3D printing a soft robotic gripper that is ready to use right off the printer, without the need for electronics.

The project, published in Science Robotics and done in collaboration with BASF, showcases the potential of 3D printing in creating complex and interesting designs for a lower cost. The soft robotic gripper, designed to mimic the human hand, is equipped with built-in gravity and touch sensors, allowing it to pick up, hold, and release objects. What sets this gripper apart is its ability to remember when it has grasped an object, thanks to its fluidic logic. When the gripper detects the weight of an object pushing to the side, it releases the object.

To create this innovative gripper, the research team had to develop an innovative 3D printing method. Their method involves having the printer nozzle trace a continuous path through the entire pattern of each layer printed, similar to drawing a picture without lifting the pencil off the page. This technique ensures that the gripper is printed in one go, reduces the likelihood of leaks and defects, and allows for the printing of thin walls and complex shapes.

This 3D printed gripper has potential applications in industrial manufacturing and food production. It offers a cost-effective and versatile solution for tasks that require interaction with humans and delicate objects. As 3D printing technology continues to advance, we can expect to see more innovative designs in soft robotics, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in this field.

What are your thoughts on this 3D printed gripper? Can you think of other applications for 3D printing in soft robotics? Let us know in the comments below or on our social media pages. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest 3D printing news delivered straight to your inbox!

[Video] [Research Paper]

Original source

Share this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *