Design of a Micro-scale Selective Laser Sintering System

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Roy, Nilabh K.
Foong, Chee S.
Cullinan, Michael A.

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University of Texas at Austin


Micro and nanoscale additive manufacturing methods employing metals and ceramics have many promising applications in the aerospace, medical device, and electronics industries. However, the present state of art metal additive manufacturing tools have feature-size resolutions of greater than 100 µm, which is too large to precisely control the geometrical and dimensional aspects of the parts they produce. The weakness is particularly profound in application of additive manufacturing to the fabrication of fine pitch interconnects in the packaging and assembly of integrated circuits. A new microscale selective laser sintering (µ-SLS) is being developed in this research to improve the minimum feature-size resolution of metal additively manufactured parts by up to two orders of magnitude, while still maintaining the throughput of traditional additive manufacturing processes. This paper presents a detailed design of the sub-assemblies of the µ-SLS system including innovative design features such as the use of (1) ultra-fast lasers, (2) a micro-mirror based optical system, (3) nanoscale particles, (4) a precision spreader mechanism, (5) long-range precision XY nano-positioner and (6) a global positioner.


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