The Effect of Infill Pattern and Density on the Response of 3-D-Printed Sensors Based on FBG
Presti, D. L., Leitão, C., Noccaro, A., Tavares, C., Massaroni, C., Caponero, M. A., ... & Schena, E. (2022).
IEEE Sensors Journal.
Fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) are known for their uses in applications ranging from civil engineering to medicine. A bare FBG is small and light; hence, it can be easily embedded into hosting materials. However, conventional fabrication methods are generally time-consuming with reproducibility issues. A more recent strategy has been proposed to develop novel FBG-based systems by encapsulating the grating within 3-D-printed structures. This process, known as 3-D printing, is characterized by several advantages like rapid prototyping, printing precision, and high customization. The possibility of quickly personalizing the 3-D-printed sensors by customizing the infill settings makes this technique very appealing for medical purposes, especially for developing smart systems. However, the influence of printing settings on the sensor response has not been yet systematically addressed. This work aimed at combining FBG with the most popular 3-D printing technique (the fused deposition modeling [FDM]) to develop four 3-D-printed sensors with different printing profiles. We chose two patterns (triangle and gyroid) and two infill densities (30% and 60%) to investigate their influence on the sensors’ response to strain, temperature, and relative humidity (RH), and on the hysteresis behavior. Then, we preliminary assess the sensor performance in a potential application scenario for FBG-based 3-D printing technology: the cardiorespiratory monitoring. The promising results confirm that our analysis can be considered the first effort to improve the knowledge about the influence of printing profiles on sensor performance and, consequently, pave the way to develop highly performant 3-D-printed sensors customized for specific applications.