, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 974–983 | Cite as

Experimental Study of the Subsystems in a Microscale Additive Manufacturing Process

  • Nilabh K. Roy
  • Dipankar Behera
  • Obehi G. Dibua
  • Chee S. Foong
  • Michael CullinanEmail author
Solid Freeform Fabrication


High-throughput manufacturing of complex 3D architectures for microscale products such as microelectronics is limited by the resolution of existing additive manufacturing processes. This paper presents experimental testing and validation of the major subsystems in a microscale selective laser sintering (µ-SLS) process that is capable of fabricating true-3D metallic micro-architectures with microscale feature size resolutions. In µ-SLS, the part quality and throughput of the sintering process are largely determined by the precision, accuracy, and speed of the subsystems including: (1) the optical subsystem, (2) the global positioning mechanism, (3) the XY nanopositioning stage, and (4) the powder bed dispensing system. This paper shows that each of these subsystems can maintain the sub-micrometer precision and accuracy required to produce metal parts with microscale resolutions. Preliminary sintering results with optimized process parameters show the potential of the µ-SLS process to fabricate complex metal parts with sub-10-μm resolution at high rates.



This study was funded by NXP Semiconductors and National Science Foundation (Grant No. 1728313).


  1. 1.
    D. Espalin, D.W. Muse, E. MacDonald, and R.B. Wicker, Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol. 72, 963 (2014).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. Hoerber, J. Glasschroeder, M. Pfeffer, J. Schilp, M. Zaeh, and J. Franke, Procedia CIRP 17, 806 (2014).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    N. Roy, A. Yuksel, and M. Cullinan, ASME 2016 11th International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, 3, V003T08A002 (2016).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. Vaezi, H. Seitz, and S. Yang, Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol. 67, 1721 (2013).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    L. Hahn, P. Meyer, K. Bade, H. Hein, J. Schulz, B. Löchel, H.U. Scheunemann, D. Schondelmaier, and L. Singleton, Microsyst. Technol. 11, 240 (2005).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    W.E. Frazier, J. Mater. Eng. Perform. 23, 1917–1928 (2014).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    P. Regenfuss, L. Hartwig, S. Klötzer, R. Ebert, and H. Exner, Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Conference, May 12–15, 2003, Chicago, IL (2003).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    H. Haferkamp, A. Ostendorf, H. Becker, S. Czerner, and P. Stippler, J. Mater. Process. Technol. 149, 623 (2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    N.K. Roy, C.S. Foong, and M.A. Cullinan, Addit. Manuf. 21, 17 (2018).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    F.C. Krebs, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 93, 394 (2009).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    X. Ding and J. Liu, AIChE J. 62, 2508 (2016).MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    N.K. Roy, D. Behera, O.G. Dibua, C.S. Foong, and M.A. Cullinan, Opt. Express 26, 25534 (2018).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    N.K. Roy, O.G. Dibua, W. Jou, F. He, J. Jeong, Y. Wang, and M.A. Cullinan, J. Micro Nano-Manuf. 6, 10903 (2017).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    N. Roy, C. Foong, and M. Cullinan, Proceedings of the 27th Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF) Symposium, Austin, TX, 1495 (2016).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    N.K. Roy, O.G. Dibua, and M.A. Cullinan, JOM 70, 401 (2018).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    N.K. Roy and M.A. Cullinan, Precis. Eng. 53, 236 (2018).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    N.K. Roy and M.A. Cullinan, IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatron. (2018). Scholar
  18. 18.
    B. Roelfs, N. Dambrowsky, C. Erben, and S. Kenny, Circuit World 38, 113 (2012).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nilabh K. Roy
    • 1
  • Dipankar Behera
    • 1
  • Obehi G. Dibua
    • 1
  • Chee S. Foong
    • 2
  • Michael Cullinan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.NXP SemiconductorsAustinUSA

Personalised recommendations