Direct fabrication of soft actuator with elastic resin


Has anyone tried to fabricate soft actuators with the elastic resin?

How similar is the behaviour under pressure of enclosed prints made with elastic resin when compared to the actuators fabricated using silicone moulding?

I can’t directly compare silicone rubber soft actuators to printed Elastic soft actuators from experience, but I would predict the behavior would be roughly similar. There are tradeoffs, however: Elastic Resin will have a lower tear strength and generally be a lot less robust than silicones with a similar shore hardness. On the bright side, you can directly print a lot of geometries with Elastic Resin that might be difficult to mold with silicone.

…did you have a particular type or style of soft actuator in mind? That could make for a great case study.

One design I would like to investigate is the multi-chambered actuator, as in the link below:

Or even the evaluation of bending for simple semi-circular soft actuators.

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Here’s a soft actuator inspired by the PneuNet actuator that you linked to, printed directly in Elastic resin, on the build platform, without support. Washing enough of the viscous elastic resin out the part before post-curing takes some care. In the GIF, it’s connected to a directly printed Elastic squeeze bulb by a short section of silicone tubing.

I also know I’m not the only one trying to fabricate soft actuators with elastic resin, so the answer to your first question is Yes. :slight_smile:


This is something I want to try