Lanzhou Institute of Materials Multi-material 3D Printing Assembly-free Flexible Drive Research Progress

[China Instrument Network Instrument R&D] The combination of functional materials and complex shapes driven by external stimuli is a hot topic in bionic drive research.

Fabrication of Assembled Magnetic Drives with Multi-material 3D Printing and Driving Demonstration Experiments
In recent years, various hydrogel materials, alloy materials, and composite materials based on carbon nanotubes (CNTs), graphene oxide (GO), and the like have been successively applied in drive research and have been prepared similar to caterpillars and fishes. Bionic drive devices such as flowers and other complex structures. However, due to the complex shape of many bionic devices, and most of them require multiple material combinations to achieve specific functions such as driving and motion, how to build complex structures and solve assembly of multi-material components is still a challenging topic in the field of bionic drive research. .
Multi-material 3D printing advanced manufacturing technology provides a simple and easy solution. Recently, the Surface Surface Group of the Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, used the advantages of 3D printing technology in computer-aided design (CAD), free manufacturing processing and device molding, and used multi-material 3D printing to build magnetic and non-magnetic parts. The sectional assembly of the assembly-free flexible actuator realizes functions such as bending, deformation and cargo transportation.
Based on the development of magnetically flexible 3D printed photosensitive resins, researchers have improved digital light processing (DLP) shaped 3D printers to enable them to freely switch between two or more photosensitive resins in the vertical direction. Double (multiple) material 3D printing technology, so as to achieve the drive device containing magnetic and non-magnetic parts free assembly one-time molding manufacturing. Mechanical testing and SEM analysis have shown that the magnetic and non-magnetic two resins have good binding force and can perform effective magnetic field driving. As a proof of concept, the researchers used this technique to print and create a gripper that can be controlled remotely and perform functional verification of capture, transfer, and release. This simple and versatile multi-material 3D printing technology will be able to expand the application of 3D printing in remote control release and flexible robots.
This work was recently published online at Adv. Mater. Interfaces (2017, DOI: 10.1002/admi.201700629). Related research has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the "Light of the West" talent training program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Talents and the "135" key cultivating projects.
(Original Title: Advances in Research on Fabricated Flexible Drivers for Multi-material 3D Printing of Lanzhou Institute of Materials)

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