3D-Printed Robo Fruit With Sensors Will Test Quality of Produce

Published by , March 28, 2017 9:40 am

(3Ders.org) Researchers at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) has used 3D printing to simulate the physical characteristics of an average piece of fruit. The replica fruits are fitted with temperature sensors. Supermarkets, greengrocers, and other companies that transport and store fruit in large quantities will be able to make use of these robo-fruits, in order to better determine the quality of their produce based on a much more accurate thermal reading than would be possible with other methods.
Their method was to X-ray a quantity of a particular type of fruit, and to then use a computer algorithm to create the average shape and texture of that fruit, based on the X-ray. From this virtual 3D model, a physical replica was printed using a mixture of water, carbohydrates and polystyrene. Using these materials for the 3D print job meant that the flesh of the fruit would be imitated to a high degree of accuracy.

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