Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Nathan B. Crane


Actuation force, Electrowetting, Enclosure, Modeling, Pinning force


The purpose of this project is to design and manufacture a high precision machine to directly measure the surface force of fluids. Knowing how to move droplets easier with less resistance can increase the potential of a wide range of applications and improve the performance of things such as self-assembly applications. This machine has the ability to measure forces of up to 100 N with a MEMS based sensor. The motion system on this machine moves a substrate underneath of a droplet for 100 mm and applies dragging force to the sensor. It moves with a controlled speed with high accuracy and repeatability. The machine also consists of three manual, three axis controls for positioning key components for observation, control of the air vacuum lifter, and adjustment of the sensor position. There is also an enclosure box that provides visibility to operate and protects the inside environment from dirt during process and also by applying positive air flow during setting up with open windows. The test components were designed to provide maximum flexibility to adjust the setup. A camera in the machine contributes to collect data during the test progress and has the ability to capture pictures and record videos.