3-D Printing Multi-Functionality: Structures with Electronics
Eric MacDonald, Ph.D., P.E.
Texas Instruments Endowed ProfessorAssociate Director, W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation
University of Texas at El Paso
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Agribusiness Center (AGBC) 134, Polytechnic campus [map]
Recently, research has focused on 3-D printing for not only creating conceptual models but functional end-use products as well. By democratizing the manufacturing process, products will soon be fabricated locally and with requirements specified individually by the end user. However, currently 3-D printing is generally limited to single material fabrication and consequently can only create structures such enclosures and conceptual models. For additively manufactured end-use products to be truly meaningful, additional features and functionalities will need to be incorporated in to the final structures in terms of electronic, electromechanical, electromagnetic, thermodynamic, optical, biological, chemical and pharmacological content. In the last decade, research has been reported of embedding electronic components and electrical interconnect into 3-D printed structures either by interrupting the process or by inserting the additional content after the structure has been built. However, only until recently and with an investment from the presidential initiative on Additive Manufacturing – America Makes – has there been a concentrated research focus on developing technology that produces multi-functionality with an enhanced version of 3D printing, where additional complementary manufacturing technologies are leveraged with 3D printing. This presentation will describe the research of the Multi 3-D Manufacturing System under development at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Eric MacDonald, Ph.D., P.E. is the Texas Instruments Endowed Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and associate director of the W. M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation at the University of Texas at El Paso. MacDonald received his B.S. (1992), M.S. (1997) and Ph.D. (2002) degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and has held faculty fellowships at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Office of Naval Research and a State Department Fulbright Fellowship in Valparaíso, Chile. His research interests include 3-D printed multifunctionality and electronics for low power applications and harsh environments with over 50 referred publications and three patents (one of which was licensed by Sony from IBM). Prior to joining UTEP in 2003, he co-founded Pleiades Design and Test, Inc., later acquired by Magma Design Automation, Inc. (Santa Clara, California) and he also worked for both IBM and Freescale Semiconductor in Austin, Texas. He is a member of ASEE, senior member of IEEE and a registered Professional Engineer in Texas.