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Title: FiberWire: Embedding Electronic Function into 3D Printed Mechanically Strong, Lightweight Carbon Fiber Composite Objects
Abstract: 3D printing offers significant potential in creating highly customized interactive and functional objects. However, at present ability to manufacture functional objects is limited by available materials (e.g., various polymers) and their process properties. For instance, many functional objects need stronger materials which may be satisfied with metal printers. However, to create wholly interactive devices, we need both conductors and insulators to create wiring, and electronic components to complete circuits. Unfortunately, the single material nature of metal printing, and its inherent high temperatures, preclude this. Thus, in 3D printed devices, we have had a choice of strong materials, or embedded interactivity, but not both. In this paper, we introduce a set of techniques we call FiberWire, which leverages a new commercially available capability to 3D print carbon fiber composite objects. These objects are light weight and mechanically strong, and our techniques demonstrate a means to embed circuitry for interactive devices within them. With FiberWire, we describe a fabrication pipeline takes advantage of laser etching and fiber printing between layers of carbon-fiber composite to form low resistance conductors, thereby enabling the fabrication of electronics directly embedded into mechanically strong objects. Utilizing the fabrication pipeline, we show a range of sensor designs, more » their performance characterization on these new materials and finally three fully printed example object that are both interactive and mechanically strong -- a bicycle handle bar with interactive controls, a swing and impact sensing golf club and an interactive game controller (Figure 1). « less
Authors:
; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1718651
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10113184
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Paper 567
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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