In this article, we report the development of a flexible, 3D printable piezoresistive pressure sensor capable of measuring force and detecting the location of the force. The multilayer sensor comprises of an ionic liquid-based piezoresistive intermediate layer in between carbon nanotube (CNT)-based stretchable electrodes. A sensor containing an array of different sensing units was embedded on the inner liner surface of a 3D printed tire to provide with force information at different points of contact between the tire and road. Four scaled tires, as well as wheels, were 3D printed using a flexible and a rigid material, respectively, which were later assembled with a 3D-printed chassis. Only one tire was equipped with a sensor and the chassis was driven through a motorized linear stage at different speeds and load conditions to evaluate the sensor performance. The sensor was fabricated via molding and screen printing processes using a commercially available 3D-printable photopolymer as 3D printing is our target manufacturing technique to fabricate the entire tire assembly with the sensor. Results show that the proposed sensors, inserted in the 3D printed tire assembly, could detect forces, as well as their locations, properly.
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