Fused Deposition Modeling of Metals
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Studies have been conducted to improve previous work performed in developing a Fused Deposition Modeling for metals (FDMm) system used for applications in electronics and fabrication of 3-dimensional metallic structures. A FDM 3000 system was modified to achieve controlled deposition of eutectic Bi58Sn42 and non-eutectic Sn60Bi40 materials. Toolpath command modifications were required to achieve controlled deposition of metals. Results are presented which include a redesigned metal deposition head, computer modeling of fluid flow, and finally examples of the successful deposition of metal alloys. Additionally, FDMm-fabricated metal samples were prepared and analyzed using optical and scanning electron microscopy. Controlled deposition of metals using FDMm allows for parts that can be used for jigs and fixtures, electroforming mandrels, encapsulation molds, dies, electronic joining applications, as well as printing 3-dimensional electronic circuitry.