3D-printed robotic hand has working tendons and muscles

A 3D printer that can produce complex systems of bendy and rigid materials, such as a robotic hand or an artificial heart, could be used to make more lifelike robots.

Robert Katzschmann at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and his colleagues have developed a 3D printer that can produce systems with intricate mixtures of rigid and soft components using a similar technology to inkjet printers, by building up microscopically thin layers of up to four different plastics at once, each with unique properties. Unlike existing 3D printers, it uses cameras and lasers to ensure each layer…

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