Bio-inspired 3D-printed piezoelectric device for acoustic frequency selection

Domingo-Roca, Roger and Tiller, Benjamin and Jackson, Joseph Curt and Windmill, James Frederick Charles (2018) Bio-inspired 3D-printed piezoelectric device for acoustic frequency selection. Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 271. pp. 1-8. ISSN 0924-4247

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    Development of 3D-printed devices, sensors, and actuators has become increasingly popular in recent years due to low cost, rapid production, and device personalization. This personalization process allows the development of devices with unique physical properties and phenomena that enhance the desired properties of the 3D-printed part. Biomimetics is a technique used to develop engineered devices, as organisms present in nature can provide smart and simple solutions to complex problems across a wide range of applications. Locust ears have a simple tympanic membrane with varying thicknesses that allows acoustic frequency selection, as well as presenting nonlinear phenomena. This acoustic frequency selection assists the insect in predation and swarming. This work presents the development of a piezoelectric polymeric material that has been used to 3D-print a new frequency selective piezoelectric sensor inspired by the locust’s tympanic membrane. Such 3D-printing of functional sensors and actuators provides an insight into the development and enhancement of polymer-based science, with exciting and promising potential for the near future.