An experimental study of pneumatic extruding direct writing deposition-based additive manufacturing
A pneumatic extruding direct writing deposition process is proposed in this paper. Compressed high-purity nitrogen was selected as a driving force to squeeze a liquid metal out of a nozzle. Combining this step with movement of the underlying substrate enabled the formation of metal patterns. Four nozzles with different structures were employed in this research, and the effect of the structural design of the nozzle on the flow of the liquid metal was analyzed both theoretically and experimentally. The influence of the distance between the nozzle and the substrate on the deposited metal lines was also investigated. To demonstrate a practical application, several metal patterns were successfully fabricated, each with a uniform and continuous metal line. Furthermore, three-dimensional objects were also fabricated. The results of a morphological analysis of the deposited metal lines show that the throttle channels added to the nozzle significantly decrease the flow of the metal fluid; as a result, nozzles with throttle channels produce thinner metal lines. The distance between the nozzle and the substrate influences the outline of the cross section of the deposited metal lines without significantly decreasing the outflow of the liquid metal.
KeywordsPneumatic extruding Additive manufacturing Metals Direct writing Throttle channel
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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [grant no. 51175204] and the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China [grant no. 20120142130011].
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