Direct Integration of Micromechanical Parts on Micro-Electromechanical Systems
At Boston University, the research group coordinated by Professor Alice White successfully demonstrated the mechanical manipulation of 3D printed microstructures by using micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS).
Using Nanoscribe’s Photonic Professional GT, they 3D printed bowtie-like structures directly onto MEMS devices, as shown in the figures. They used two types of MEMS actuators in their investigation: electrostatic comb drives and thermal chevron actuators. In both cases, they applied a voltage to the MEMS actuators causing small displacements of few micrometers. This controlled linear displacement of the actuators led to a three-dimensional dynamic deformation of the bowtie microstructures. In their experiments, the scientists measured the displacements and estimated the forces applied to the 3D micro constructs. They also characterized the spring constant and the Young’s modulus of 3D microstructures made of different photoresist materials.
Left: A thermal chevron MEMS actuator with a directly printed 3D bowtie structure.
Right: 3D bowtie micromechanical structure on a MEMS capacitive comb drive.
These findings unveil a viable strategy for the controlled deformation of a microstructure geometry. They will potentially find applications based on the dynamic actuation of 3D printed microstructures such as deformable optics and scaffolds for tissue engineering.
Read the full paper here: Dynamic Actuation of Soft 3D Micromechanical Structures Using Micro‐Electromechanical Systems (MEMS)