Additive Manufacturing of Conformal Sensors
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A sensor is unobtrusive if it doesn’t interfere with the design, mechanical properties, and the functionality of the structure it is integrated with. This thesis discusses the development of unobtrusive piezo-resistive sensors and their production using Steriolithography, an additive manufacturing technique. An already existing SLA machine was modified and improved upon in terms of surface finish of the produced parts, reliability and capability to easily 3D print different materials. This machine was used to additively manufacture carbon-composite parts that acted as stress and strain sensors. The composite was prepared by dispersing two types of carbon structures (short carbon fibers and carbon nanofibers) into a UV curable resin. These 3D printed parts were then characterized in terms of their electrical and mechanical properties at various concentrations of the carbon structures. This characterization was done for both single layered and multi-layered samples.