By Adam Zewe
MIT researchers have developed a new method to 3D print mechanisms that detect how force is being applied to an object. The structures are made from a single piece of material, so they can be rapidly prototyped. A designer could use this method to 3D print “interactive input devices,” like a joystick, switch, or handheld controller, in one go.
To accomplish this, the researchers integrated electrodes into structures made from metamaterials, which are materials divided into a grid of repeating cells. They also created editing software that helps users build these interactive devices.