3D-Printed Origami Pressure Sensor Array for Pressure Monitoring

A current research revealed in npj Versatile Electronics proposes a wi-fi strain monitoring system utilizing a 3D-printed origami strain sensor array. It’s outfitted with customizable structure sensors to beat the boundaries of present industrial strain mats. This cost-effective and adaptable strain monitoring system can work within the 70 to 2500 kPa strain vary. 

3D-Printed Origami Pressure Sensor Array for Wireless Pressure Monitoring
a Schematic of customizable Pillar-Origami strain mapping mat for various purposes of healthcare monitoring. b Schematic of Pillar-Origami strain sensor unit, describing its parts and traits in three states of ON, OFF, and Sensing. Picture Credit score: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41528-024-00309-z


Strain monitoring is important for people in bodily demanding circumstances comparable to laborers, athletes, and elders. Strain knowledge acquired via monitoring techniques and sensors can be utilized to determine biomechanical abnormalities, design ergonomic insoles for footwear, and improve sports activities coaching.

Just lately, quite a few efforts have been made to plot wearable strain monitoring techniques with enhanced efficiency, measured when it comes to detection vary, sensitivity, linearity, sturdiness, and response time. Combos of varied versatile substrates (for sensing) and conductive supplies (for electrodes) have been explored to optimize these parameters and develop piezoresistive, piezoelectric, and triboelectric strain sensors. Nonetheless, the present industrial strain sensors are constrained by dimension and sensing accuracy points.

The selection of fabrication method additionally influences sensor efficiency. The widespread manufacturing methods for strain sensors are categorized as force-based, electrical field-assisted, and light-assisted fabrication. These contain a number of complicated steps and require specialised gear and managed clear room environments, which will increase the ultimate gadget price. Furthermore, when a strain monitoring mat is broken, your complete gadget wants alternative. Thus, the researchers on this research used 3D printing to manufacture a versatile strain sensor array with a pillar-origami construction.

Strain Monitoring System Fabrication

The researchers employed twin nozzle fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing expertise, which permits simultaneous manufacturing of the sensor’s versatile construction and electrodes in a single step. Firstly, a 3D mannequin of the sensor was ready utilizing Strong Works 2022 software program, which includes two foremost parts: array and models. A fused filament fabrication 3D printer was used to print the array and models, adopted by the meeting of dummy/sensing models into the array.

Since this research aimed to plot a capacitive strain sensor, a separate dielectric construction was ready together with the bottom. The twin-structure design consisted of an origami tube strengthened with ribs and a central pillar. Furthermore, the applying of minimal strain on the sensor deforms its dielectric construction (after buckling of the pillar and origami half) and alters its capacitance. Human pores and skin was employed as one of many electrodes utilized in capacitance measurement to mitigate the human physique’s impact on gadget capacitance.

Two strain mapping mat units had been designed and assembled utilizing the proposed methodology: a 150 × 150 mm foot strain mapping gadget and a 150 × 100 mm array for sports activities purposes. Every gadget consisted of a strain mat, a reference electrode, a knowledge acquisition board, and a 5 V energy financial institution for the information acquisition board. A MATLAB script was used to obtain wi-fi knowledge from the information acquisition board and contour plot the sensing knowledge.

The efficiency of each units was evaluated in real-like situations. As an example, the foot strain mapping gadget was employed to file the strain contour utilized to the human foot (in 4 distinct postures) throughout bodily actions. One other gadget was positioned contained in the protecting pad of an athlete to measure the influence forces skilled throughout sporting actions.


The proposed strain sensor with pillar-origami construction provided exact stiffness management, successfully filtering pores and skin deformations and enabling capacitive strain sensing. The proposed architectural design displays a finely tunable strain measurement vary from 70 to 2500 kPa with sensitivity between 0.01 kPa-1 and 0.0002 kPa-1 and a response time of solely 800 milliseconds. Moreover, your complete gadget is moveable and strain mapping might be monitored in real-time and on-line.

Form programmability is an important characteristic of the fabricated 3D strain sensor as its mechanical properties might be managed by various the geometrical parameters. Thus, the strain vary and sensitivity of the gadget might be optimized by various the origami tube thickness, origami folding angle, pillar diameter, hole between the higher floor of the pillar and origami tube, and the variety of supporting ribs.

The FDM 3D printing expertise used within the research resolves adhesion points usually encountered in multi-layer sensors. It permits modification of the scale, form, and determination of the strain mat in response to the consumer’s specs. As well as, the modular sensor array built-in into the strain monitoring system facilitates simple upkeep.


General, this paper efficiently demonstrated a wi-fi strain monitoring mat that may overcome the adaptability and accuracy points within the present strain sensors. In case of injury inside the sensor array, it’s potential to switch particular person sensing models as a substitute of your complete gadget, making gadget upkeep economical and sustainable together with prolonged operational performance.

With potential purposes in wi-fi foot strain mapping and sports activities safety pads, the proposed strain monitoring system generally is a vital milestone within the improvement of versatile and customizable strain sensor expertise.

Journal Reference

Moeinnia, H., Agron, D. J., Ganzert, C., Schubert, L., & Kim, W. S. (2024). Wi-fi strain monitoring system using a 3D-printed Origami strain sensor array. npj Versatile Electronics8(1), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41528-024-00309-z, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41528-024-00309-z

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