Sensors and Actuators A-Physical vol:60 issue:1/3 pages:212-218
Currently, nearly all microcomponents are fabricated by micro-electronic production technologies like etching, deposition and other (photo) lithographic techniques. In this way, main emphasis has been put on surface micromechanics. The major challenge for the future will be the development of real three-dimensional microstructures. The main objective of the proposed research is the development of a production technology for three-dimensional micromechanical structures together with a study of the mechanical properties of these structures. Electrodischarge machining (EDM) is a versatile technique which is very well suited for machining complex microstructures. This paper starts with an overview of EDM technology, the current state-of-the-art of micro EDM, and a comparison of EDM with other micromachining technologies. Afterwards, the basic parameters for EDM of silicon are derived. It will be demonstrated that EDM of silicon is not only feasible, but also forms an interesting, powerful and complementary alternative to traditional silicon micromachining.