This paper aims to present combination of poly-jet technology and ink-jet technology in a multidisciplinary way in order to exploit advantages of these rapid prototyping techniques in manufacturing a demonstrator device – a variable interdigital capacitor.
The platform of 3D complex geometry, with optimized design and cavity under the capacitor's fingers (plates), was fabricated using Alaris 3D printer, whereas silver conductive segments were fabricated using Dimatix ink-jet printer and thanks to the mechanical flexibility the platform has been covered using these segments.
When one side of the capacitor's structure changes angular position (in the range from 0 to 90°) with reference to the fixed part, the variation in total capacitance is obtained. The total capacitance decreases (in the range from 20.2 to 1.5 pF) with decrease in effective overlapping area for the variation of angular position from 0 to 90° The maximum measured tuning ratio for the proposed design of the variable capacitor was 13.5:1.
Presented variable capacitor can be used for detection angular position in the range from 0 to 90°.
The new horizon has been opened combining the rapid prototyping equipment in electronics and mechanical engineering in an interdisciplinary way to manufacture, for the first time, variable capacitor using poly-jet and ink-jet technologies. These techniques do not require higher mask counts which makes the fabrication fast and cost-effective.
This work, for the first time, demonstrates the combination of ALARIS 30 3D printer and Dimatix DMP-3000 materials deposition printer in order to fabricate the interdigital capacitor with complex 3D geometry. ALARIS 3D printer has been used for manufacturing plastic platform (with the possibility to precisely adjust angular position of one comb related to another) and Dimatix printer has been used to print silver conductive inks on flexible substrates (Kapton film), and this mechanically flexible structure was used to cover capacitor's fingers on the platform (assembly).
The results presented in this paper were partly supported within the national project TR32016 and some equipment resources were provided within the EU founded FP7 project APOSTILLE. The authors express their gratitude for the received support.
Stojanović, G., Mandić, V., Ćurčić, M., Vasiljević, D., Kisić, M. and Radosavljević, N. (2014), "Combining rapid prototyping techniques in mechanical engineering and electronics for realization of a variable capacitor", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 115-120. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-07-2012-0061Download as .RIS
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