On the Mechanics and Dynamics of Soft UV-Cured Materials with Extreme Stretchability for DLP Additive Manufacturing

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Robert L. Lowe


Additive manufacturing (AM) is a novel and powerful manufacturing technique that is revolutionizing the way we produce different products. Among the various existing AM techniques, the digital light processing (DLP) has gained significant attention due to its ability to produce 3D parts with complex design and functionalities with high level of accuracy, ease, and precision. Soft elastomeric materials, on the other hand, have a wide variety of applications in different areas e.g., soft robotics, biomimetic systems, flexible electronics due to its unique characteristics of flexibility, elasticity, and inertness. Hence, the prospect of manufacturing soft elastomeric products with DLP AM technique offers exciting possibilities in these diverse areas of application. This thesis aims to explore the mechanical properties and dynamic behaviors of such soft elastomeric materials that can be constructed with DLP AM method. The objective is to develop a basic understanding of the mechanics and dynamics of UV-curable and DLP-printed soft elastomer materials. Variation in mechanical properties due to different DLP process-parameters settings has been investigated for a commercially available elastomer resin. Different hyperelastic constitutive models have been calibrated with uniaxial tension testing data of four different DLP-printed soft elastomer specimens. A comparative study of the models in reproducing experimental data has been carried out to facilitate predictive analysis. Finally, the dynamics of a thin-shell soft DLP-printed elastomeric membrane has been investigated through numerical analysis of stretch response behavior upon the application of sudden internal inflation and deflation pressures.


Mechanical Engineering, Additive manufacturing, 3D printing, digital light processing, constitutive modeling, elastomer, nonlinear dynamics

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