Soft electronics are an emerging class of electronic devices that are flexible and stretchable, designed to move with the body. A team from Harvard’s Wyss Institute and Harvard SEAS has developed a new 3D printing platform that integrates hard and soft electronic elements into durable, stretchable sensors and enables rapid design and manufacturing of soft electronics.
This is achieved by first printing a stretchable conductive ink. As the printed ink is stretched, its electrical resistivity increases. Next, surface mounted electrical components are digitally pick-and-placed in precise locations.
Because the soft matrix and conductive electrodes are 3D-printed, researchers have complete control over where the electronic features are placed. The printed wearable sensor and integrated electronic device is mounted on a stretchable textile fabric.
This platform rapidly accelerates the design and additive manufacturing of customized, wearable electronic devices.