Microscale metal additive manufacturing
Additive manufacturing (AM) is transforming the way we design and fabricate structures on many scales. A main driving force of this movement is the ability of AM to overcome traditional geometrical constraints imposed by subtractive manufacturing techniques. Because such geometric design restrictions become increasingly limiting at small length scales, microscale AM has the potential to expand the capabilities of microfabrication significantly.
In this talk, I will briefly review the variety of novel microscale AM techniques currently available for fabricating metal structures and touch on the resulting materials properties of structures printed with these techniques. Furthermore, I will introduce electrochemical approaches to microscale AM and summarize some of our recent work. This includes the development of a new electrochemical AM technique based on strongly spatially-confined reduction of metal ions using nanosecond pulse plating. Lastly, I will discuss possible methods for achieving voxel-by-voxel control of the printed materials' microstructure and thus the local properties within the structure. This highlights a unique ability of electrochemical AM, which could enable the printing of complex geometries with locally tailored microstructures.