Date of Award


Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering


College of Information Technology and Engineering

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Ana Pena Alvarez, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Iyad Hijazi

Third Advisor

Dr. Roozbeh Ross Salary


Robots mechatronic devices are able to replicate human actions, especially in dangerous environments and in manufacturing. Recently, the development of robotics has been inspired by bionics. The advanced robotics allow advanced robots to be used in new environments where they were not traditionally applicable, such as narrow and small spaces. Compared to traditional rigid robots, soft robots are made by deformable materials and possess high dexterity and adaptivity in harsh working environments. Traditional soft robots are made by casting. The method implies that the molds of soft robots should be designed and printed by a 3D printer first, before casting. In this thesis, a pneumatic bending actuator will be designed and printed by 3D printer directly. The direct 3D printing method saves abundant time in the overall design and printingas in rubber casting. The printing material is a hyperelastic material called NinjaFlex. Moreover, this thesis simplified the physical model to a cantilever beam with uniform distributed load. Based on the cantilever mathematical model, two types of simulation have been designed with linear material properties and nonlinear material properties. The wall thickness of the original design was set as the optimization parameters. By adjusting the thickness, the relationship between the wall thickness and the deformation of the bending actuator was obtained. By comparing the results of experiments, simulation, and theoretical modeling, we propose 3D printing of soft actuators as a novel technique to be used in the new frontier of soft robotics.


Robots -- Control systems.

Mechanical engineering -- Robots.

Three-dimensional printing.

Included in

Robotics Commons