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Researchers 3D printed robot hands with bones, ligaments, and tendons

2023-11-22 17:42

A study published in the British journal Nature recently stated that Swiss and American researchers have successfully printed robotic hands with bones, ligaments, and tendons using a new technology that combines 3D printing with laser scanning and feedback mechanisms for the first time. This technology opens up new possibilities for the production of flexible robot structures.

3D printing technology can achieve a rapid transformation from design to production by directly transforming digital models into physical objects. Unlike the fast curing plastic materials commonly used in 3D printing, in this new study, researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and a start-up in the United States used polymer materials with good flexibility and slow curing.

Generally speaking, 3D printers print layer by layer and scrape off surface irregularities after each curing step, but this printing method is not suitable for slow curing polymer materials. In this new study, researchers have developed a new technology that combines 3D printing with laser scanning and feedback mechanisms, which can quickly check the surface irregularities of each printing layer and adjust the amount of material when printing the next layer in real-time and accurately. Using this technology, researchers successfully printed a robotic hand made of polymers with different elasticity, consisting of bones, ligaments, and tendons.

Researchers say that this new technology can easily combine soft, elastic, and rigid materials. Next, they will explore more possibilities using this technology.