Fabricating micro-features using polymer 3D additive manufacturing
Date of Issue2017-05-29
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology
With the increased demand for highly customized products, Additive Manufacturing (AM) becomes one of the most concerned technological improvements nowadays. Additive manufacturing provides a solution to fabricate structures with complex geometries and features that are difficult or impossible using traditional manufacturing techniques. The advantage that a prototype can be directly printed out from digital 3D model shorten the production time and reduce the cost. Despite considerable benefits of AM technology, there are still some potential improvements needed to be done in the future. One of them is micromanufacturing. One reason that AM system cannot replace conventional micromanufacturing methods is the limitation of accuracy and precision while the fabricating of features in microscale. Even though there are already some companies provide solutions for additive micromanufacturing, the high cost and need of specialized services slow down the steps to commercial optimization. This project explores the micro manufacturing capability of three commercial 3D printers based on AM technology (ASIGA PICO2, DWS Systems DigitalWax 029X, and 3D Systems ProJet MJP 5500X). Although they are not intentionally designed for micromanufacturing, their specifications indicate the potential for manufacturing features in micro scale. Several parameters which can reflect their micromanufacturing ability are investigated and compared with the printers. There are still many further studies needed to fully explore the potential of 3D printers. Hopefully, the trial on this project would provide a new idea of how to improve micromanufacturing ability of different existing AM systems instead of developing new principles.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University