2, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
We present a printed paper actuator as a low cost, reversible and electrical actuation and sensing method. This is a novel but easily accessible enabling technology that expands upon the library of actuation-sensing materials in HCI. By integrating three physical phenomena, including the bilayer bending actuation, the shape memory effect of the thermoplastic and the current-driven joule heating via conductive printing filament, we developed the actuator by simply printing a single layer conductive Polylactide (PLA) on a piece of copy paper via a desktop fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printer. This paper describes the fabrication process, the material mechanism, and the transformation primitives, followed by the electronic sensing and control methods. A software tool that assists the design, simulation and printing toolpath generation is introduced. Finally, we explored applications under four contexts: robotics, interactive art, entertainment and home environment.