Laboratory for Dynamics of Machines and Structures 
Control of a 3D printed thermal actuator

Commercial additive technologies are gaining ground in the manufacture of soft actuators based on functional polymers responding to environmental stimuli (temperature, humidity, electromagnetic fields, etc.). As part of the master's thesis, the student designs a thermal soft actuator from a combination of polymers with different coefficients of thermal expansion and with an embedded electrical resistance element for internal heat generation. The actuator is printed on a fused filament fabrication 3D printer and experimentally characterised. With the experimental characterization of the actuator, the controller should be designed to control the force or displacement depending on the heat generated in the heating element.

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