Electronics Integration in Conformal Substrates Fabricated with Additive Layered Manufacturing

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Date

2009-09

Authors

Castillo, Sylvia
Muse, Dan
Medina, Frank
MacDonald, Eric
Wicker, Ryan

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Publisher

University of Texas at Austin

Abstract

A three-dimensional (3D) accelerometer sensor system with microprocessor control was fabricated using a previously developed integrated layered manufacturing system that combines conductive ink dispensing with stereolithography (SL). The electronics are integrated into a conformal substrate that is press-fit into a helmet for the purpose of detecting Traumatic Head Injury (THI) when an excessive acceleration to the head is measured. Applications include monitoring the health of soldiers or athletes. Traditional fabrication of electronics is implemented with a 2 dimensional printed circuit board (PCB), which are not well suited for rugged installations in curved locations such as the interior of a helmet. The advantage of layered manufacturing for the integration of electronics is the ability to fabricate in a conformal substrate - conforming to the curved, complex, and often flexible shapes dictated by the human body.

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