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Gecko Foot Prototype

by henrypenn1, published

Gecko Foot Prototype by henrypenn1 Aug 12, 2012
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2892Views 354Downloads Found in Animals


Based on the research of Robert Full, this tiny sheet of plastic has even tinier hairs. Not tested yet, but based on proven research. A gecko's foot uses microscopic hairs to stick to surfaces by creating a kind of a super friction. This object does the same thing, only on a smaller scale. This sheet of plastic has 224 tiny spires, and is only a few square millimeters.


Use a Replicator for this. For more friction, it is best to scale it down by .5 and make the layer height .01. THis is just for better sticking though. Will be able to print and test anywhere in between 4 and 6 weeks. I promise I will test it, but until then, try printing it yourself.

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Unfortunately you wont be able to print this with a replicator or any "cheap" printer that I know of. The nozzle diameter of most of the 3D printers whose results you see uploaded to this site are more than 0.3mm. So the prints are made up of 0.3mm wide blobs that are positioned with 0.1mm accuracy. The gecko hairs in your model are far to fine to be printed. According to wiki they need to be 0.2 micrometers which is 0.0002mm


Which is a shame as that would be a very very cool thing to print. Wall mounts that don't require glue or screws! :)

There is a DLP resin printer that's cheap to make but expensive to run that has very good accuracy...


But still not good enough for your gecko idea.

It won't be as small or strong as a gecko's foot, but smaller than previous attempts.

Way ahead of you. I scaled it up slightly, so that the replicator can handle it, but it is still only about 1.5 square millimeters, and has 256 spires.

I'm pretty sure there isn't a printer DIY or commercial that can print this. Just FYI.

Yes, but if we greatly embiggen it and print, this is a great model to show how the concept works.

Perhaps an STL printer can. They can get .01mm layer height.

don't you mean an SLA printer? Either way this print wont work, but good idea anyway

The Ultimaker can easily do .01mm layer height. It isn't the layer height that is the problem but the x-y size of the "hairs" Scaled way up it would be printable but might not work very like the hairs on a gecko's foot because they would then be too large to stick in the same fashion.

Still might be useful to help people visualize the structures.