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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Historically, open source agriculture (OSA) was based on grassroots technology generally manufactured by hand tools or with manual machining. The rise of distributed digital manufacturing provides an opportunity for much more rapid lateral scaling of open source appropriate technologies for agriculture. However, the most mature distributed manufacturing area is plastic, which has limited use for many OSA applications. To overcome this limitation with design, this study reports on of a completely 3D-printable planetary roller screw linear actuator. The device is designed as a parametric script-based computer aided design (CAD) package to allow for the easy adaption for a number of applications such as food processing at different scales. The planetary roller screw is fabricated in dishwasher-safe polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) on an open source machine and tested using an open source testing platform to determine if it could maintain a constant load without slipping and the maximum force. Then, this output is compared to a direct screw press using the same materials. The results found that the maximum force is more than doubled for the roller screw actuator using the same materials, making them adequate for some food processing techniques. Future work is outlined to improve the performance and ease of assembly.

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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/). Publisher’s version of record:

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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