Design and 3D Printing of Integrated Fluid Power Components

Alfonso Costas, Purdue University


In this work, the 3D printing of fluid power components was explored. There are many reasons why the use of additive manufacturing (AM) may be beneficial to this industry. Amongst these reasons, it is worth mentioning the freedom to develop new designs, as well as the weight and size reduction. In addition, thanks to 3D printing it is possible to integrate different fluid power components, otherwise seen as separate parts of an assembly, into one single part, avoiding the need for further assembly. In this work, the following components have been developed: a lobe pump, several soft actuators, a gate valve assembly, and a servo valve. The main objective of this work was to investigate the best way to obtain these components using 3D printing. This translated into determining the most suitable 3D printing technique (among fused deposition modeling, stereolithorgraphy, and polyjet printing) and material (among a wide variety of rigid and flexible materials) for each one of the necessary parts. In order to showcase the capabilities of these components, these parts have been integrated into a miniature forklift. This forklift showcases hydraulic applications in the lift and hydrostatic steering systems. In the future, this forklift will be used as an educational toolkit to showcase the applications of robotics, hydraulics, and additive manufacturing in order to promote the use of fluid power among students.




Garcia, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering

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