Hybrid additive manufacturing of 3D electronic systems

J. Li*, Thomas J. Wasley, T. T. Nguyen, Ta Van Duong, Jonathan D Shephard, Jonathan Stringer, P. Smith, Emre Esenturk, Colm Connaughton, R. Kay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (SciVal)
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A novel hybrid additive manufacturing (AM) technology combining digital light projection (DLP) stereolithography (SL) with 3D micro-dispensing alongside conventional surface mount packaging is presented in this work. This technology overcomes the inherent limitations of individual AM processes and integrates seamlessly with conventional packaging processes to enable the deposition of multiple materials. This facilitates the creation of bespoke end-use products with complex 3D geometry and multi-layer embedded electronic systems. Through a combination of four-point probe measurement and non-contact focus variation microscopy, it was identified that there was no obvious adverse effect of DLP SL embedding process on the electrical conductivity of printed conductors. The resistivity maintained to be less than 4 × 10-4 ω • cm before and after DLP SL embedding when cured at 100 °C for 1 h. The mechanical strength of SL specimens with thick polymerized layers was also identified through tensile testing. It was found that the polymerization thickness should be minimised (less than 2 mm) to maximise the bonding strength. As a demonstrator a polymer pyramid with embedded triple-layer 555 LED blinking circuitry was successfully fabricated to prove the technical viability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105005
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number10
Early online date23 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


  • 3D electronic systems
  • 3D micro-dispensing
  • 3D printing
  • digital light projection stereolithography (DLP SL)
  • hybrid additive manufacturing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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