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The Use of Additive Manufacturing to Fabricate Structural Components for Wearable Robotic Devices

[+] Author Affiliations
Ray Churchwell, Kevin W. Hollander

SpringActive, Inc., Tempe, AZ

Connor Theisen

Paradise Valley High School CREST, Phoenix, AZ

Paper No. DETC2015-47448, pp. V05AT08A044; 9 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5A: 39th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5712-0
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Our interest is in designing, fabricating and testing wearable robotic devices that assist human gait of able bodied individuals [1, 2]. Recently, we have been experimenting with Additive Manufacturing, 3D printing, using Fused Deposition Modeling technology as a method to fabricate key structural components for these robotic devices.

A key structural component for the JTAR (Joint Torque Augmentation Robot) hip exoskeleton was manufactured using 3D printing and has been destructively tested to validate design requirements, the average force required to destroy the part was 2500 N with a standard deviation of 86 N, and this level of strength provided a safety factor in excess 4 times the expected load. The 3D printed part also has been successfully demonstrated on the JTAR robot for approximately 32 kilometers of hiking with no signs of degradation. The JTAR device has been demonstrated with the 3D printed hip mechanism in various environments, including treadmills and unconstrained outdoor environments.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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