Exploring Force Sensing With 3-D Printing: A Study on Constriction Resistance and Contact Phenomena

Anders Frem Wolstrup*, Anders Eiersted Molzen, Jon Spangenberg, Tiberiu Gabriel Zsurzsan

*Corresponding author for this work

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This letter examines the contact and constriction resistance phenomena in the context of 3-D-printed electronics, with a focus on exploring the use of constriction resistance for force sensing. We design and manufacture a sensor using carbon-black conductive thermoplastic polyurethan on a fused deposition modeling 3-D printer and test it using a geometry-based resistive model to fit the data to a number of possible force–resistance relations found in the literature. The sensor exhibits low hysteresis between force and resistance, and good sensitivity at low forces, while at high forces, it displays consistent contact and stable resistance. We analyze the design methodology and offer recommendations for future sensor design and fitting options, as well as put forward approaches to maximizing force sensitivity. Although the exact model derived in this letter is not directly transferable to other sensors, the workflow can serve as a useful guide for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10101868
JournalIEEE Sensors Letters
Issue number5
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023


  • Sensors
  • Force
  • Immune system
  • Deformation
  • Conductors
  • Sensor phenomena and characterization
  • Sensitivity


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