Commenced in January 2007
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A Simulation Study into the Use of Polymer Based Materials for Core Exoskeleton Applications

Authors: Matthew Dickinson


A core/trunk exoskeleton design has been produced that is aimed to assist the raise to stand motion. A 3D model was produced to examine the use of additive manufacturing as a core method for producing structural components for the exoskeleton presented. The two materials that were modelled for this simulation work were Polylatic acid (PLA) and polyethylene terephthalate with carbon (PET-C), and the central spinal cord of the design being Nitrile rubber. The aim of this study was to examine the use of 3D printed materials as the main skeletal structure to support the core of a human when moving raising from a resting position. The objective in this work was to identify if the 3D printable materials could be offered as an equivalent alternative to conventional more expensive materials, thus allow for greater access for production for home maintenance. A maximum load of lift force was calculated, and this was incrementally reduced to study the effects on the material. The results showed a total number of 8 simulations were run to study the core in conditions with no muscular support through to 90% of operational support. The study presents work in the form of a core/trunk exoskeleton that presents 3D printing as a possible alternative to conventional manufacturing.

Keywords: 3D printing, Exo-Skeleton, PLA, PETC.

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