3D Printed Stretchable Tactile Sensors

Shuang Zhuang Guo, Kaiyan Qiu, Fanben Meng, Sung Hyun Park, Michael C. Mcalpine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

111 Scopus citations


The development of methods for the 3D printing of multifunctional devices could impact areas ranging from wearable electronics and energy harvesting devices to smart prosthetics and human–machine interfaces. Recently, the development of stretchable electronic devices has accelerated, concomitant with advances in functional materials and fabrication processes. In particular, novel strategies have been developed to enable the intimate biointegration of wearable electronic devices with human skin in ways that bypass the mechanical and thermal restrictions of traditional microfabrication technologies. Here, a multimaterial, multiscale, and multifunctional 3D printing approach is employed to fabricate 3D tactile sensors under ambient conditions conformally onto freeform surfaces. The customized sensor is demonstrated with the capabilities of detecting and differentiating human movements, including pulse monitoring and finger motions. The custom 3D printing of functional materials and devices opens new routes for the biointegration of various sensors in wearable electronics systems, and toward advanced bionic skin applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1701218
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 2017



  • 3D printing
  • bionic skin
  • stretchable electronics
  • tactile sensors
  • wearable devices

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