Microwave 3D Printer

Oral Presentation | Robert Wilson

Date & Time: Thursday June 25 2020, 14:55


Author(s) Robert Wilson1, Juliano Katrib2, Jeff Turner1, Geoff de Looze1, Cherry Chen1

Affiliation(s) [1] CSIRO, [2] University of Nottingham

The interaction of microwaves with matter is based on the dielectric constant and loss factor of semi-conducting and insulating materials.  The greater the loss factor, the greater the microwave energy that is converted to heat.  Metals are highly electrically conductive and considered to be microwave transparent with neither a loss factor nor dielectric constant.  However, metals may be heated by microwaves based on “the skin effect” heating to a depth of tens of microns and by arcing and the generation of plasmas at sharp surface asperities and arcing between particles that are in close proximities.  It is the arcing behavior that offers the potential of rapid heating and melting of metal powder particles, and after controlling mass flow and heating, the possibility of developing a 3D printer. CSIRO and Nottingham University, through the AIM FSP have a collaboration agreement to evaluate the use of microwaves as an energy source to melt metal powders and develop a 3D printer.  This presentation will talk on the rationale and potential, project aims, difficulties encountered and progress to date to prove the concept of a microwave 3D printer.  The two key methodologies that are being explored, namely: Drop on Demand (DoD) system and microwave lance will be discussed.

Presentation Video

Presenting Author

Dr Robert Wilson

Team Leader / Work Package Leader / Dogsbody
CSIRO – Manufacturing

Robert is a metallurgical engineer / scientist, research team leader in the Manufacturing Business Unit and work package leader for the AIM FSP Factory to the Shop Work Package, Microwave 3DP