Strojniski Vestnik - Journal of Mechanical Engineering vol:59 issue:11 pages:689-696
The combination of different additive manufacturing techniques to produce freeform products with multifunctional properties is gaining increasing popularity. In the research presented, Aerosol Jet® Printing (AJP) is combined with extrusion-based 3D printing. AJP starts with an ink to create micro-tracks. These tracks commonly have widths ranging from a few micrometers up to several millimeters and track heights ranging from a few tenths of a micrometer up to several micrometers, unlike extrusion-based 3D printers with which the extruded material usually has a resolution of tenths of millimeters. AJP can therefore be a complementary technique for extrusion-based 3D printing; in this manner, fine high resolution features can be added onto relatively rapidly produced extrusion-based 3D printed parts. Furthermore, AJP can be used to produce electrically conductive tracks to create interconnections, inductors, capacitors, strain gauges, etc.
In this paper, the creation of AJP-manufactured interconnects on extrusion-based 3D printed substrates is investigated. The relevant AJP process parameters to take into account are the flow rates of the aerosol, the flow rate of the sheath gas, the temperature settings of the ink and substrate, and the platform speed and nozzle-to-substrate distance. To obtain reliable results, the AJP process parameters are optimized for printing single-layered and multilayered silver ink tracks on extrusion-based 3D-printed surfaces. Important quality output parameters include the dimensions and the electrical properties of the printed interconnects.