Fully embedded microstrip transmission line using copper tapes and Objet photopolymer Vero White +.
Fully embedded microstrip transmission line using copper tapes and Objet photopolymer Vero White +.

Project Overview

Goal:
To explore the design of embedded radiofrequency (RF) devices in parts fabricated using additive manufacturing.

Description:
Embedding of integrated systems via Additive Manufacturing (AM) offers the potential to save weight, space, and time in the production of electronics and vehicles. Of specific interest are embedded electrical systems that operate in the radiofrequency (RF) range as they have great potential utility in communication systems and aircraft avionics including navigation. However, systems in this frequency range pose unique manufacturing challenges such as the need to minimize impedance discontinuities in the system. In this work, the authors explore various techniques for embedding RF structures such as antennas and filters via a multi-material jetting AM process.

Findings:
The dielectric constants and loss tangents of Vero White and Tango Black polymers were determined to facilitate the design of RF structures with these materials. It is shown that measurements of S-parameters of the resultant embedded RF structures approach or match the performance of non-embedded electronics.

Related Publication:

Dumene R., Kennedy P., Williams C.B., Dennis Sweeney D., Greg Earle Greg 2015. “CREATING EMBEDDED RADIOFREQUENCY STRUCTURES USING POLYJET MATERIAL JETTING ” Proceedings of the 26th Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, Austin, TX.

Research Lead

Rich Dumene

Sponsors 

Northrop Grumman Corporation