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Microspine Design for Additive Manufacturing

Paul Nadan, Dinesh K. Patel, Catherine Pavlov, Spencer Backus and Aaron M. Johnson
Conference Paper, Proceedings of (IROS) IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, October, 2022
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Microspine grippers allow robots to ascend steep rocky slopes and cliff faces, enabling scientific exploration of exposed strata on Earth and other solar system bodies. Historically, the Shape Deposition Manufacturing (SDM) process has been used to fabricate multi-material suspensions for load-sharing among multiple microspines. We instead apply the Hybrid Deposition Manufacturing (HDM) process to microspine fabrication, and we further propose a novel 3D-printed microspine suspension design that can be manufactured via Fused Deposition Manufacturing (FDM) alone, using a single flexible material with an embedded fishhook. We use a model of microspine stiffness that allows designers to compensate for order-of-magnitude changes in material tensile modulus by adjusting geometric parameters of the design. The stiffness model and the FDM microspine design are validated through tensile testing, and mechanical properties of the HDM and FDM designs are compared against a standard SDM microspine design. We demonstrate that the FDM process can produce microspines with equivalent normal and axial stiffness and superior maximum load and fatigue response to SDM microspines, and discuss additional advantages of the FDM process for rapid prototyping and broader accessibility.

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author = {Paul Nadan and Dinesh K. Patel and Catherine Pavlov and Spencer Backus and Aaron M. Johnson},
title = {Microspine Design for Additive Manufacturing},
booktitle = {Proceedings of (IROS) IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems},
year = {2022},
month = {October},
publisher = {IEEE},
keywords = {Climbing Robots, Grippers and Other End-Effectors, Additive Manufacturing},

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