Printable Hydraulics allows fluid-actuated robots to be automatically fabricated using 3D printers.

Multi-material additive-manufacturing techniques offer a compelling alternative to conventional rigid and soft robot fabrication techniques, allowing materials with widely varying mechanical properties to be placed at arbitrary locations within a structure, and enabling design iterations to be rapidly fabricated with trivial effort. This capability enables complex composite materials with new bulk properties, and in contrast to virtually all other fabrication techniques, the incremental costs of additional design complexity when using additive manufacturing are zero. We show how commercial multi-material 3D printers can be adapted to co-fabricate solids and fluids within the same 3D-printed structure, demonstrating a new capability for transmitting force within 3D-printed assemblies: Printable Hydraulics.

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Youbin Kim