Printable Actuator

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With the introduction to new conductive inks and toners, printing circuits onto
unconventional materials is now possible. This project involves printing electromagnetic coils onto both sides of a paper substrate. With a simple hole punch the coil circuits can be connected in series with conductive ink, glue or foil.

The direction of the coils (left hand and right hand) are configured to cumulate the field for coils aligning front side and back side. However, each set repels the next set which are folded in a zig-zag pattern resulting
in a expansion or contraction (depending on electrical polarity).

This arrangement is very simple, low cost, bio-degradeable, and light weight.

Additional articulation can be accomplished by printing coils strategically
on the substrate and energizing independently with a microcontroller.


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  • Name:
    James Scott
  • Type of entry:
  • Profession:
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  • James's favorite design and analysis tools:
    Rhino 3D, BLender 3D
  • For managing CAD data James's company uses:
  • James's hobbies and activities:
    scuba, fabricating, designing, photography
  • James is inspired by:
    I'm inspired by elegant and clever solutions. I'm motivated to find efficient solutions for current problems. It is my dream and goal to contribute to our modern world something that enriches the human experience, protects our environment, and promotes healthy, safe, and prosperity for generations to come.
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