Production techniques for 3D printed inflatable elastomer structures: Part I — Fabricating air-permeable forms and coating with inflatable silicone membranes via spray deposition

Coulter, F.B., Coulter, B.S., Marks, J.R. and Ianakiev, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-1413-8110, 2018. Production techniques for 3D printed inflatable elastomer structures: Part I — Fabricating air-permeable forms and coating with inflatable silicone membranes via spray deposition. 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, 5 (1), pp. 5-16. ISSN 2329-7662

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Abstract

This article is the first in a two-part series describing a process for conformal 3D printing on to inflatable substrates. Details for fabricating seamless, tubular elastomeric membranes by spray deposition on a double-curved air-permeable mandrel are presented, in Part I. The mandrels are created by casting gypsum into a desired form, and made permeable by applying pressurised air to the central core of the gypsum body during its crystallisation phase. The membranes — in this case made from silicone — are created by spray deposition onto the mandrel using a constant surface angular velocity approach. These membranes are inflated so as to impart mechanical pre-strain in the rubber by stretching. The techniques described are particularly suited to fabrication of 3D printed Pneumatic Artificial Muscles (PAM) and Dielectric Elastomer Actuators (DEA). They can also be used to create removable substrates upon which a 3D print can be extruded, or alternatively integrated into a 4D print where varying levels of mechanical strain can be distributed through the various printed layers. Uses for the techniques described include soft robotics, stretchable electronics, biomechanical implants and custom bioreactors, particularly when combined with direct ink writing techniques.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing
Creators: Coulter, F.B., Coulter, B.S., Marks, J.R. and Ianakiev, A.
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Date: 2018
Volume: 5
Number: 1
ISSN: 2329-7662
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1089/3dp.2017.0068DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 04 Apr 2018 10:03
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2018 10:03
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/33168

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