3D printed mould-based graphite/PDMS sensor for low-force applications

A. Nag*, S. Feng, S. C. Mukhopadhyay, J. Kosel, D. Inglis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


This paper concerns the design, fabrication and characterization of graphite/PDMS sensors for low-force sensing applications. Exploiting the design flexibility of 3D printing, moulds of specific dimensions were prepared onto which graphite powder and PDMS were cast, to develop sensor patches. The sensor patches were highly flexible with repeatable responses to iterative bending cycles. The patches were tested in terms of stretchability, strain and bending-cycle responses. The sensor patches had interdigitated electrodes operating on capacitive sensing, where the effective capacitance changes with an applied force because of changes in their dimensions. Forces ranging from 3.5 mN to 17.5 mN were applied to determine the capability of these sensor patches for low-force sensing applications. The sensor patches had a quick recovery having a sensitivity and SNR per unit force of 0.2542 pF mN−1 and 10.86 respectively. The patches were capable of differentiating the forces applied on them, when they were attached to different objects in daily use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-534
Number of pages10
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.


  • 3D printing
  • Capacitive sensor
  • Force sensing
  • Graphite
  • PDMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Instrumentation
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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