Microscale additive manufacturing of metal – mechanical properties

Conference Dates

October 1-6, 2017


Additive manufacturing (AM) is transforming the way we design and fabricate structures on many scales. A main driving force of this movement is the ability of AM to overcome geometrical constraints imposed by subtractive manufacturing techniques. Because such design restrictions become increasingly limiting at small length scales, microscale AM has the potential to significantly expand the capabilities of microfabrication. Yet, for AM to become a beneficial addition to current microfabrication techniques, the properties of materials fabricated by AM have to be determined and quality standards have to be established.

Thus, a comparison was performed of the mechanical properties of metals deposited with most of the currently suggested microscale metal AM techniques [1]. The range of techniques studied includes well established approaches, e.g., focused electron beam induced deposition and laser forward transfer, as well as more novel methods, e.g., electrohydrodynamic printing and electrochemical deposition. The mechanical performance of structures deposited with these methods was evaluated using nanoindentation and microcompression (Fig. 1b), and the materials’ microstructure was analyzed using cross-sectional electron microscopy.

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