Theses Doctoral

Layered Assembly: Parallel Electrostatic Grippers for Multi-material additive manufacturing, and matter manipulation

Mici, Joni

This work posits Layered Assembly as a novel, additive manufacturing method which usesvoxels as feedstock to fabricate multi-material objects at order-of-magnitude faster build rates than established additive manufacturing methods. Instead of using resins, filaments, and powders as raw materials, Layered Assembly uses premanufactured bits of matter called voxels, to fabricate truly multi-material, multi-functional parts. The implementation of Layered Assembly in this work is carried out by parallel electrostatic grippers. Electrostatic grippers are chosen as the gripping mechanism as they are solid-state, material-agnostic, adept at grasping millimeter-scale parts, and parallelize well to enable scalable high deposition rates.

Most importantly, electrostatic grippers can apply localized electrostatic fields which results in highly selective grasping capability at the millimeter and sub-millimeter scale. The parallel gripping capabilities of electrostatic grippers were characterized for gripping repeatability, and then demonstrated by the fabrication of increasingly complex multi-material parts. Fabricated parts include a letter “C” comprised of 8 voxels, an 18 voxel pyramids and two parts comprised of tens of thousands of voxels. Experiments determined a > 95% gripping reliability independent of array size. The experiments in work have shown parallel electrostatic grippers to be a promising method for both material deposition and parallel pick-and-place manipulation.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mechanical Engineering
Thesis Advisors
Lipson, Hod
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 10, 2022