The Design Process of a Additive Manufactured Miniature Gripper
Additive manufacturing (3D printing) can create an alternative to MicroElectroMechanical Systems
Nothing better than a good design story. Although very little electronics (or AI) is covered in the report from postgraduates from the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos (UAEM), the approach, testing an outcome are worth a read.
Miniature grippers have applications in biomedicine, microassembly, nanomedicine, and biology , among others. For example, in the domain of cell biology, a micropositioning system can be used to move a microinjection pipette to transfer drugs. In the area of MEMS, microassembly is often used to simplify manufacturing processes when designs are complex or different micromanufacturing technologies are used.
The team from UAEM (C. Andres Ferrara-Bello, Margarita Tecpoyotl-Torres and S. Fernanda Rodriguez-Fuentes) set down to create an manufacturing process based on 3D printing. Their work focused on the design of a piezoelectric-driven miniature gripper, additive manufactured with Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (PLA), which was modeled using a pseudo rigid body model (PRBM).
The aperture between the jaws of the gripper allows it to hold objects with diameters lower than 500 μm, and weights lower than 1.4 g, such as the strands of some plants, salt grains, metal wires, etc. The novelty of this work is given by the miniature gripper’s simple design, as well as the low-cost of the materials and the fabrication process used.
All the details of this new design miniature gripper, the testing and proof of concept can be found at the MDPI journal website: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-666X/14/4/727