Towards Printing Mechatronics: 3D-printed conductive interfacing for digital signals

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Abstract

The use of additive manufacturing within the field
of mechatronics creates exciting oportunities for the integration
of digital systems into advanced mechanical devices. This paper
has investigated the design considerations inherent to the the
3D printing of a conductive interface between a microcontroller
and a digital sensor. The leads of the sensor and the pins
of the microcontroller were successfully coupled exclusively
through a 3D-printed coupling consisting of both conductive
and non-conductive FDM material, manufactured in a single
print on an entry-level device. The coupling has been removed
and repositioned several times with no functionality change,
proving that the 3D printing considerations were valid in terms
of maintaining sufficient pressure on the component terminals
so as to create enough conductive paths within the material
to drive the sensor properly. An impedance analysis and
operational testing have been performed, and considerations
concerning the robustness of the design have been drawn, all
with respect to future improvements and the expansion towards
related applications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM)
Publication dateJul 2020
Pages430-435
Article number9159016
ISBN (Electronic)9781728167947
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

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