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Problem Addressed

Impact protection and vibration isolation are an important component in mobile robot design. However, current damping materials are available only in bulk or molded form, requiring manual fabrication steps and restricting material property control. The Inventors demonstrate a new method for 3D printing viscoelastic materials with specified material properties. This method allows arbitrary net-shape material geometries to be rapidly fabricated and enables continuously varying material properties throughout the finished part. This new ability allows robot designers to tailor the properties of viscoelastic damping materials in order to reduce impact forces and isolate vibrations.