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research-article

Study of Microscale Three-Dimensional Printing Using Near-Field Melt Electrospinning

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiangyu You

Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
youxiangyu1989@gmail.com

Chengcong Ye

Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
ccye@link.cuhk.edu.hk

Ping Guo

ASME Member Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
pguo@mae.cuhk.edu.hk

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037788 History: Received June 14, 2017; Revised August 21, 2017

Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) printing of microscale structures with high resolution (sub-micron) and low cost is still a challenging work for the existing 3D printing techniques. Here we report a direct writing process via near-field melt electrospinning to achieve microscale printing of single filament wall structures. The process allows continuous direct writing due to the linear and stable jet trajectory in the electric near-field. The layer-by-layer stacking of fibers, or self-assembly effect, is attributed to the attraction force from the molten deposited fibers and accumulated negative charges. We demonstrated successful printing of various 3D thin wall structures with a minimal wall thickness less than 5 ┬Ám. By optimizing the process parameters of near-field melt electrospinning, ultrafine poly (e-caprolactone) (PCL) fibers have been stably generated and precisely stacked and fused into 3D thin-wall structures with an aspect ratio of more than 60. It is envisioned that the near-field melt electrospinning can be transformed into a viable high-resolution and low-cost microscale 3D printing technology.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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