3D Printable Multifunctional Fibers


3D printing has enabled the customized production of many objects and devices, but that technology currently only creates passive units.



Researchers at Virginia Tech have developed a coaxial micro-extrusion technique that enables us to take advantage of triboelectric energy generation and custom build sensors to fit anywhere. This ability to print devices that can generate triboelectric energy can eliminate the need to recharge or replace batteries in small personal electronics like heart rate monitors, pedometers, or calculators.


3D printing of multifunctional fibers can also create sensors with a wide variety of applications. One prototype built in the lab was able to measure changes in kidney blood flow. Another prototype, a sensor printed onto a mask, holds great promise for those who have lost their ability to speak or those who may wish to communicate silently.


3D printing extruder design


Potential patterns into which multifunctional fibers can be printed


Triboelectric fiber-based blood flow sensing device

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Rozzy Finn
Licensing Officer
Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
Blake Johnson
Yuxin Tong
John Robertson
Xiaoting Jia
Ziang Feng