Design for ink-jet printing and micropattern generation on micro components
Lee, Chee Loong.
Date of Issue2009
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Solid Freeforming is a manufacturing process that builds 3D solid object by depositing materials on the specific positions, point by point, line by line, or plane by plane. Its techniques could range from Fused Deposition, 3D printing, Selective Laser Sintering to many more. Its distinguish features over other manufacturing processes are the absence of confined surfaces like mould, addition of materials rather than subtraction, and addition of materials incrementally. The features are made possible with the advancement of computer control. Because of these features, it is popular in the application of rapid prototyping for visualisation. Direct Inkjet Printing, one of the solid freeforming processes, which disperses the materials directly on the positions requested by user, has several advantages over others. The advantages are the abilities of printing multiple materials in one-go, building fine microcomponent, and no post-treatment on the finished component. The capabilities mentioned are important in making medical imaging probes where multi-materials like ceramics and metallic ink are needed. The fabrication of electronic components like piezoelectric micromotors for in vivo drug delivery is also made possible with the technology. The author’s project was to focus on building a prototype which could print 3D ceramic microcomponent using the concept of Direct Inkjet Printing technique. A commercial printer model iP1000 from Canon was modified in the project to achieve the objective. The printer is a colour printer which is suitable for multi-material feature required in our project. The project work was categorized into two main parts: design of hardware and design of electronic circuit. The final prototype was able to print the ink repeatedly, layer by layer. The project demonstrated that a commercial printer, after being modified, could perform the same as the conceptual Direct Inkjet 3D printer model. However, there are few improvements need to be done on the prototype to make it perfectly suitable for operation as there is difficulty for printhead to disperse ink. Future works like building of a precise and accurate movement mechanism, creation of an independent software program, design of ink-mixture device, minor detail adjustments may be the potential topics for the upcoming batch of Final-Year-Project students.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University