nanotimes News in Brief Fabrication //
Rapid Fabrication of Electromechanical Devices © Based on Material by Harvard University
n a new mass-production technique, robotic insects spring to life new technique inspired by elegant
pop-up books and origami will soon allow clones of robotic insects to be mass-produced by the sheet.
Devised by engineers at Harvard University (US), the ingenious layering and folding process enables the rapid fabrication of not just microrobots, but a broad range of electromechanical devices.
In prototypes, 18 layers of carbon fiber, Kapton (a plastic film), titanium, brass, ceramic, and adhesive sheets have been laminated together in a complex, laser-cut design. The structure incorporates flexible hinges that allow the three-dimensional product – just 2.4mm tall – to assemble in one movement, like a pop-up book.
The implications of this novel fabrication strategy go far beyond these micro-air vehicles. The same mass- production technique could be used for high-power switching, optical systems, and other tightly integra- ted electromechanical devices that have parts on the scale of micrometers to centimeters.
12-02 :: February/March 2012
J. P. Whitney, P. S. Sreetharan, K. Y. Ma and R. J. Wood: Pop-up book MEMS, In: Journal of Micromecha- nics and Microengineering, Vol. 21(2012), Number 11, November 2011, Article 115021 DOI:10.1088/0960- 1317/21/11/115021: