IEEE-ASME Transactions on Mechatronics vol:3 issue:1 pages:24-33
This paper discusses the implementation of a concurrent-engineering view of microsystem design. The proposed concurrent-engineering or mechatronic approach to the design of hybrid microsystems is illustrated by three case studies. First, the design of an advanced computer writing tool is discussed. The design of this consumer product requires a mechatronic approach at different functional levels and at different levels of miniaturization. Another illustration of this approach is the design of an implantable drug delivery device. A device for solid drug delivery, as well as a device for liquid drug delivery, is presented. It is demonstrated that miniaturization can be obtained by a combination of functions in a single component. The multiplication of functions in a single component automatically leads to a concurrent-engineering approach for the design. Finally, the micromanufacturing of silicon parts by electrodischarge machining is described. It is demonstrated that electrodischarge machining of silicon is not only feasible, but forms an interesting and complementary technology to traditional silicon micromachining. Therefore, this powerful manufacturing technique opens the way for concurrent engineering of real three-dimensional micromechanical sensors and actuators with integrated processing electronics on the same wafer.