Parametric Tool to Generate 3D Printable PneuNet Bending Actuator Molds

parPneuNets (pneumatic networks) are a class of soft actuators originally developed by the Whitesides Research Group at Harvard. The PneuNet actuator technology has been a seminal soft robotics innovation and can be considered one of the basic building blocks for silicone based soft robotic designs.

The Soft Robotics Toolkit includes pages with files and instructions for 3D printing and laser cutting a number of premade mold designs to cast PneuNet bending actuators. This documentation set contains a parametric file that can be used to generate an STL file for 3D printing a mold to cast a PneuNet bending actuator with any desired dimensions. The tool can be used to design molds for custom actuators for a specific usage. Or it can be used as a part of teaching, to have students conduct their own experiments on characterizing PneuNet actuators of different geometries.