3D Printable Wax-Silicone Actuators

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Date

2014

Authors

Lipton, Jeffrey Ian
Angle, Sarah
Lipson, Hod

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University of Texas at Austin

Abstract

The Solid Freeform Fabrication of actuators has been an area of active development. So far only weak polymer actuators, or small displacement piezoelectric, and pneumatic actuators have been produced. We developed a novel material platform of silicone and wax which can be used to make soft actuators that are thermally activated. The material is made by mechanically mixing liquid silicone and liquid paraffin wax and cooled to create a suspension of wax particles suspended in a silicone liquid. The resulting material expands by up to 6% of volume when heated above the wax melting temperature.

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