Inkjet-based 3D Printing of Functional Materials

E. Chadwick, S.Y. Chang, M. Pardakhti, M. Tan, Y. Niu, Q. Yang, S.Y. Kang, B. Chaudhuri, A. Ma
University of Connecticut,
United States

Keywords: multimaterial printing, food, drug tablets, electronics


Inkjet printing has evolved from a graphic printing technology to become a fabrication technology for creating functional materials. To date, inkjet printing is capable of depositing a wide range of materials to produce flexible electronics, drug tablets, food, metal and ceramic parts, etc. Many of these emerging applications, however, impose extreme demands on the precise deposition of droplets over large areas. Further, the success of inkjet-based 3D printing hinges on understanding the ink fluid properties and the underlying physics of the print process. A new inkjet tool coined “HuskyJet” has recently been custom-built by integrating a linear sled system with three industrial print heads, in-line UV and IR lamps, and drop imaging. Such design improves the drop-on-drop precision, allows seamless integration with machine learning algorithms and enables the printing of passive circuit elements, personalized medication, and food products. Key lessons learnt from constructing and using this tool will be shared in this presentation.