A low cost desktop electrochemical metal 3D printer

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Title: A low cost desktop electrochemical metal 3D printer
Authors: Chen, X
Liu, X
Childs, P
Brandon, N
Wu, B
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing as it is more commonly known, is the process of creating 3D objects from digital models through the sequential deposition of material in layers. Electrochemical 3D printing is a relatively new form of AM that creates metallic structures through electrochemical reduction of metal ions from solutions onto conductive substrates. The advantage of this process is that a wide range of materials and alloys can be deposited under ambient conditions without thermal damage and more importantly at low cost, as this does not require expensive laser optics or inert gas environments. Other advantages include the fact that this process can be both additive and subtractive through reversal of potential allowing for recycling of components through electrochemical dissolution. However, one main limitation of this technology is speed. Here, a novel electrochemical 3D printer design is proposed using a meniscus confinement approach which demonstrates deposition rates three orders of magnitude higher than equivalent systems due to improved mass transport characteristics afforded through a mechanical electrolyte entrainment mechanism. Printed copper structures exhibit a polycrystalline nature, with decreasing the grain size as the potential is increased resulting in a higher Vickers hardness and electronic resistivity.
Issue Date: 28-Aug-2017
Date of Acceptance: 19-Jul-2017
ISSN: 2365-709X
Publisher: Wiley
Journal / Book Title: Advanced Materials Technologies
Volume: 2
Issue: 10
Copyright Statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: X. Chen, X. Liu, P. Childs, N. Brandon, B. Wu, Adv. Mater. Technol. 2017, 1700148., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (E
Funder's Grant Number: EP/K002252/1
J15119 (EP/P003605/1)
Keywords: Science & Technology
Materials Science, Multidisciplinary
Materials Science
3D printing
electrical conductivity
electrochemical additive manufacturing
electrochemical deposition
printed electronics
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 1700148
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Dyson School of Design Engineering

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