In this paper, we present a fully printed accelerometer with a piezoresistive carbon paste-based strain gauge printed on its surface, which can be manufactured at low cost and with high efficiency. This accelerometer is composed of two parts: a sensor substrate made from high-temperature resin, which is printed by a 3D printer based on stereolithography apparatus (SLA), and a carbon paste-based strain gauge fabricated by screen-printing technology and by direct ink writing (DIW) technology for the purposes of comparison and optimization. First, the structural design, theoretical analysis, simulation analysis of the accelerometer, and analyses of the conductive mechanism and the piezoresistive mechanism of the carbon paste-based strain gauge were carried out. Then the proposed accelerometer was fabricated by a combination of different printing technologies and the curing conditions of the carbon paste were investigated. After that, the accelerometers with the screen-printed strain gauge and DIW strain gauge were characterized. The results show that the printing precision of the screen-printing process on the sensor substrate is higher than the DIW process, and both accelerometers can perform acceleration measurement. Also, this kind of accelerometer can be used in the field of measuring body motion. All these findings prove that 3D printing technology is a significant method for sensor fabrication and verification.
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