Fabrication and Control of a Microheater Array for Microheater Array Powder Sintering

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Date

2017

Authors

Holt, Nicholas
Galvan Marques, Lucas
Van Horn, Austin
Montazeri, Mahsa
Zhou, Wenchao

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Publisher

University of Texas at Austin

Abstract

Microheater Array Powder Sintering (MAPS) is a novel additive manufacturing process that uses a microheater array to replace the laser of selective laser sintering as the energy source. Most of the previous research on microheaters are for applications in gas sensing or inkjet printing. The operation temperature and response time of the microheater array are critical for the choice of sintering materials and printing speed for the MAPS process. In this paper, we present the fabrication, packaging, and control of a platinum microheater array that has a target operation temperature of 400°C and a response time of ~1 millisecond. First, we will present the fabrication process of a microheater array. The fabricated microheater array is then packaged for easy control and to serve as the printhead of the MAPS process. A PID controller is designed to control the temperature response of the microheater. Finally, the effectiveness of the controller is evaluated. Results show the fabricated microheater array satisfies the design requirements for the MAPS process.

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