Project 19: Exploring Strategies to Effectively Fabricate Conductors within 3D Printed Plastic Components (Prof. Kevin Walsh, ECE & Doug Jackson, ECE)

One of the challenges with embedding MEMS sensors and microelectronic devices within the features of 3D printed parts is how to effectively connect them together with appropriate conductive wiring.  In this research, we explored various post-processing strategies to achieve that goal.  Using a conventional FDM (fused deposition modelling) 3D printer, we designed test samples containing micro-fluidic channels.  Then using various strategies, we seeded the interior surfaces of the micro-channels thin layers, followed by electro-deposition of a variety of conductive materials.  Some of our results are shown in the images to the right.

Brendan Noone, Douglas Jackson and Kevin Walsh, University of Louisville.

This work was performed at the KY Multi-scale Core Facilities.