Laboratory for Dynamics of Machines and Structures
Dynamic Measurements Using FDM 3D-Printed Embedded Strain Sensors
A. Lebar and
Sensors, Volume 19, June 12 2019, Article #2661
3D-printing technology is opening up new possibilities for the co-printing of sensory elements. While quasi-static research has shown promise, the dynamic performance has yet to be researched. This study researched smart 3D structures with embedded and printed sensory elements. The embedded strain sensor was based on the conductive PLA (Polylactic Acid) material. The research was focused on dynamic measurements of the strain and considered the theoretical background of the piezoresistivity of conductive PLA materials, the temperature effects, the nonlinearities, the dynamic range, the electromagnetic sensitivity and the frequency range. A quasi-static calibration used in the dynamic measurements was proposed. It was shown that the temperature effects were negligible, the sensory element was linear as long as the structure had a linear response, the dynamic range started at ∼ 30 μ ϵ and broadband performance was in the range of few kHz (depending on the size of the printed sensor). The promising results support future applications of smart 3D-printed systems with embedded sensory elements being used for dynamic measurements in areas where currently piezo-crystal-based sensors are used.