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3D Printing the Gecko Effect

September 5,2017

Credit: sarayuth3390/shutterstock.com

Researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology in Pontedera have investigated the adhesive properties of gecko toes and have fabricated artificial gecko setae on the same size scale as its natural counterpart by using Nanoscribe’s 3D printer Photonic Professional GT.

The toe surface of geckos exhibits a hierarchical topography. This multilevel hierarchy of branches of the gecko setae allows for a large contact area to a surface and thus increased amount of attractive Van der Waals forces that lead to adhesiveness even on slippery surfaces. Force measurements of the 3D printed artificial gecko setae demonstrate adhesive properties that could be used for the development of dry and reversible sticky tapes.

Find the conference paper here: Dry Adhesion of Artificial Gecko Setae Fabricated via Direct Laser Lithography

Nanoscribe Micro Traps
Microfabricated Gecko Setae