Rigoberto Advincula1

1, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Additive manufacturing and 3D printing promise to revolutionize the fabrication of machines and complex parts rapidly and with a high number of choice for materials. Robotics, mechatronics, and other actuated system rely as well on materials choices due to the evolution of function and control based on advances in signaling an processing. In this talk we focus on the fabrication of elastomers and silicone components that can make way for additional materials choices in robotics, soft robotics, and machine components were flexibility and polymer materials combinations result in high ductility and flexural strength. Using viscous solution printing (VSP) or possibilities with fused deposition modeling (FDM) and stereolithographic apparatus (SLA) it is possible to have various routes in elastomeric properties through changes in: 1) curing with thixotropic fluids, 2) flexible resin filaments, and 3) the use of elastomeric crosslinkers and telechelics in 3D printing respectively. We also demonstrate the use of post-curing reactions and leaching to convert thermoplastic into elastomeric materials. A number of thermo-mechanical testing methods were used. Shape memory type of behavior is a goal. The materials properties can be synchronized with the design and function parameters and geometry of the machine movement.