Sensors play a vital role in the industry transformation. Commercial sensors such as force sensors have limited options in shapes, stiffness, measuring ranges, etc. Customized force sensors optimized for the production environment can greatly increase the integration workflow and avoid the trade-off in design freedom of using commercial sensors. 3D printing, as a rapid prototyping technology, offers great potential in fabricating force sensors customized to a specific application. However, most of the existing 3D printed force sensors are limited to one-directional sensing, while most of them use materials developed in-house. In this study, a fully 3D printed force sensor using commercial conductive 3D printing materials is presented. By utilizing the resistance change when under load, the sensor can estimate the applied force in multiple directions. The resistive performance of the prototype 3D printed force sensor is first characterized and then validated in a case study.
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