Scientists presented a cheap method of converting 3D printed products into sensor devices
Researchers of the Carnegie Mellon University have developed Electrick sensors, thanks to which it is possible to add tactile input to 3D printed object. The technology is inexpensive and can be used for making sensor devices from products of any size and shape.
The method implies the use of electric field tomography. There are two ways to make an object sensory: initially use electrically conductive materials when printing it or apply corresponding coating on the object. After that, electrode sensors are installed in certain areas, which turns the product into an analog of a touchpad: the device will respond to tactile commands.
Today, there are many kinds of PLA and ABS polymers containing metal particles. They are all great for printing future sensory objects. As already mentioned above, the surface shape as well as the size of an object doesn’t matter.
Electrick technology has a huge potential for application. With its help it is possible to turn the whole house into a giant computer. Thus, during testing of the development, scientists were able to make a touch surface on the table, walls, steering wheel of a car, guitar and even plasticine. And to show how the Electrick system works, the researchers made a video.