3D-Printed Ink & Paper Robots Can Fold or Flatten on Command

Published by , August 27, 2018 1:11 pm

(3Ders.org)  A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have created a kind of paper robot made of conductive 3D printed material and paper that folds and unfolds itself when an electrical current is applied. To create the paper robot, the researchers employed a FDM 3D printer and 3D-printed a 0.5mm layer of conductive ink on to plain paper as the actuator. They then heated it in an oven set at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Once removed from the oven, the paper is bent or folded into a desired shape and allowed to cool. This will be the default shape of the paper. Electrical leads were then attached to the actuator and the operators used the current to heat the actuator, causing the thermoplastic to expand and thus straighten the paper. When the current is removed, the paper automatically returns to its default shape.

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