© 2020 IOP Publishing Ltd. The feasibility of additive manufacturing actuating microstructures and microdevices with small dimension is presented. Using a custom-built extrusion 3D printer and CAD model of the device structure, bilayer microactuators driven by hydrogels are fabricated down to a size of 300 × 1000 μm2, with a minimum thickness of 30 μm. To explore the limitations of the 3D printing process, microactuators with a width of 300 μm and lengths ranging from 1000 to 5000 μm are manufactured and thereafter operated to demonstrate the feasibility of the process. Similarly, microrobotic devices consisting of a passive rigid body and flexible moving parts are 3D printed to illustrate the ease and versatility of the additive manufacturing technique to fabricate soft microgrippers or micromanipulators.
Tyagi, M., Spinks, G. M. & Jager, E. J.H. (2020). Fully 3D printed soft microactuators for soft microrobotics. Smart Materials and Structures, 29 (8),