Dry Powder Microfeeding System for Solid Freeform Fabrication

Lu, Xuesong
Yang, Shoufeng
Chen, Lifeng
Evans, Julian R. G.
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Second generation SFF techniques allow both composition and shape to be downloaded directly from a computer file so that 3D functionally graded materials (FGM) can be assembled. Methods for multi-material deposition are also needed in combinatorial research, colour management and pharmaceutical dosing. In this work, computer-controlled microfeeding systems using ultrasonic vibration of a capillary were built. A wide range of stable flow rate control and switching control were achieved in the acoustic vibration system, and uniform powder doses were obtained in the ultrasonic system. The experimental results show that the nozzle diameter, transmission fluid depth, waveforms, voltage amplitude, frequency and oscillation duration all influence the dose mass. Among these factors, the nozzle diameter, voltage amplitude and oscillation duration can be used to control the dose mass. Raster printing of patterns with various resolution and dot size are demonstrated.