Low Cost Numerical Modeling of Material Jetting-Based Additive Manufacturing

Hume, Chad A.
Rosen, David W.
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University of Texas at Austin

Material jetting-based additive manufacturing is a promising manufacturing approach with increasing interest in mesoscale applications such as microfluidics, membranes, and microelectronics. At these size scales, significant edge deformation is observed limiting the resolvable feature size. Currently, predicting and controlling such deformations would require extensive experimentation or computationally prohibitive simulations. The objective of this work is to develop a computationally low cost material jetting model that enables the simulation and prediction of mesoscale feature fabrication. To this end, a quasi-static boundary-based method is proposed and demonstrated as a simplified and accurate means of predicting the line-by-line, layer-by-layer feature development. The method is validated through comparison with the known analytical solution for a single droplet; then the method’s application to AM is demonstrated through modeling of representative mesoscale features. The benefits and limitations of each are discussed.