Impact of 3D Printing Technique and TPE Material on the Endurance of Pneumatic Linear Peristaltic Actuators

Micromachines (Basel). 2022 Feb 28;13(3):392. doi: 10.3390/mi13030392.


In this paper, additive manufacturing was used in order to produce hose prototypes for peristaltic linear pneumatic actuators. In order to optimise the endurance of the actuator, we 3D printed different thermoplastic polyurethane elastomers with different shore hardness levels using ARBURG Plastic Freeforming technology. Furthermore, effects of the hose geometries on the lifetime of the actuator were investigated. Experimental evidence showed that the lifetime of the actuator was dependent on the combination of the hose design and on the material used to manufacture the hose. Moreover, experimental tests showed that the use of the Aurburg-Freeformer 3D printing technology led to a much higher hose endurance than the one reported by using the fused layer manufacturing technique.

Keywords: 3D printing; additive manufacturing; linear peristaltic actuators; pneumatic actuators; thermoplastic elastomers.