In this paper, we present the first known experimental results in using hybrid additive-subtractive laser powder bed fusion (h-LPBF) to make a type of passive radio frequency component called a quarter wave resonator (QWR). The h-LPBF process uses in-situ, interlayer vertical milling to machine certain inaccessible, critical internal features of the QWR device during printing. Using h-LPBF, the as-built surface roughness of functionally important features improved to Ra ~ 2 µm compared to Ra ~ 8 to 20 µm for conventional (additive only) LPBF-processed QWRs. Additionally, the dimensions of certain critical features were closer to their intended design. These metrological improvements resulting from h-LPBF reduced RF losses by a factor of almost 2. Consequently, the RF performance (Q-factor) of h-LPBF-processed QWR components were 1.5 to 2 times superior compared to their conventional LPBF counterparts, and the performance advantage was sustained on stress relief and chemical etching. These results were verified with theoretical electromagnetic simulations.
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The authors would like to thank Alexander Smirnov for assistance with the RF measurements as well as Pedro Frigola for overseeing the overall project scope. This work was supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of High Energy Physics, under SBIR grant DE-SC0019973. Prahalada Rao thanks the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Department of Energy (DoE) for funding his work under awards OIA-1929172, CMMI-1920245, CMMI-1739696, ECCS-2020246, PFI-TT 2044710, CMMI-1752069, CMMI-1719388, and DE-SC0021136. Using the hybrid-LPBF process as a means to improve part quality was the major aspect of CMMI-1752069 (program officer: Kevin Chou). Supplemental funding for CMMI-1752069 was obtained through the NSF INTERN program (program officer: Prakash Balan) and CMMI Data Science Activities (program officer: Martha Dodson), which is greatly appreciated. The latter supplement funded Ziyad Smoqi’s research. The X-ray CT analysis was conducted on the instrument, partially funded through the Major Research Instrumentation grant (CMMI-1920245, program officer: Wendy C. Crone). Alex Riensche’s work was funded partially through the DoE grants DE-SC0021136 and OIA-1929172.
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Riensche, A., Carriere, P., Smoqi, Z. et al. Application of hybrid laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing to microwave radio frequency quarter wave cavity resonators. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 124, 619–632 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-022-10547-y