As mentioned previously, there are many variations of designs and materials for dielectric elastomer actuators, which can require different techniques to create. The following section provides step by step instructions on the manufacture of a circular dielectric elastomer actuator on a rigid frame, made with VHB 4910 as the dielectric and electrodes made of carbon grease.

The dielectric elastomer used in this documentation is VHB 4910 because it is a sticky tape which can adhere to the acrylic frame on its own. If other materials are used for the membrane, clamps or glue may be used to attach it to the frame.

Process Overview

The manufacturing process can be divided into the following steps:

1. Prestretching of the membrane onto the rigid frame.

2. Painting of the active area with carbon grease.

3. Application of copper leads.

4. Connecting active area with copper tapes.

Get Started

First visit the Bill of Materials page to make sure you have the necessary materials and then continue on to Step 1 to begin building your own actuator!