A conductive pattern is formed by a conductive material on the substrate having an electromagnetic function. Ink-jet printing using metal nanoparticles is an attractive method for the direct fabrication of a conductive pattern, with low-cost, low-waste, and simple process. The conductive pattern that is usually fabricated on complex surface substrates is widely used, but this method has several drawbacks like stacking of printing curves to the surface and complexity of the motion path; moreover, the conductive inks flow easily on the surface, resulting in low printing accuracy. In addition, each curve needs to be individually cured leading to a long interface, thus resulting into the decrease in conductivity. In this pursuit, the current work presents a reduced dimension patch printing method, which uses a series of patches to approach the surface. These patches were rotated to the horizontal plane through the five-axis motion system for printing and curing by turn, so that the surface printing gets converted to two-dimensional printing. To execute this method, we designed the print path planning algorithm as follows: initially, based on the topological relation of the triangles in the STL (stereolithography) model, the sub-region culling method was used to reduce the number of final patches and the length of the boundary, as well as to improve the conductivity. Subsequently, the patches were rotated to the horizontal plane for optimizing the print path, by turn according to the adjacent relation, thus achieving the ink-jet process in two-dimensional motion. This improved the efficiency and ensured that the conductive inks were always on the horizontal plane before curing, thus effectively avoiding its flow and improving the printing precision. Additionally, the patch was integrally cured to improve the overall connectivity. The results show that the algorithm could achieve the print path planning and significantly reduce the number of print patches and boundary length.
The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 11, 2017
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