3D printers continue to gain in importance: the devices are becoming more and more common and can produce a vast range of objects from housings to custom-made prostheses. Johann Elias Stoetzer and Steven Gurgel expanded this spectrum significantly by using flexible, conductive filament to develop sensors that specifically utilise the possibilities of additive manufacturing processes. The sensors can measure forces, contact or bending processes. The young researchers were even able to print their 3-D sensors on textile, which facilitates fascinating applications: Touch sensors on outdoor clothing can, for example, support bike couriers to control smartphone navigation or a music app. And pressure and bending sensors applied to protective clothing could warn of excessive load on joints.
Johann Elias Stoetzer