3D-printed objects that can feel interactions

MIT researchers have developed a new method to 3D print mechanisms that detect how force is being applied to an object. The structures are made from a single piece of material, so they can be rapidly prototyped. A designer could use this method to 3D print “interactive input devices,” like a joystick, switch, or handheld controller, in one go.

To accomplish this, the researchers integrated electrodes into structures made from metamaterials, which are materials divided into a grid of repeating cells. They also created editing software that helps users build these interactive devices.

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Source: “Engineers create 3D-printed objects that sense how a user is interacting with them“, MIT News Office