Fachbereich Informatik

3D Printed Conductive Z-Interconnects

Master thesis at group TAMS (maybe also possible as bachelor thesis)
Auch in deutscher Sprache möglich.


The integration of electronic wires and components into 3D-printed objects is an emerging active research topic. During the last 5 years, we developed an FDM 3D-Printer for our Conductive Printing Project. The printer is now capable of printing conductive material to generate electric wires with a second extruder.
In addition, the printer is also capable of automatic pick and place to apply electronic components during the printing process to assemble fully functional 3D-circuits.
A video, illustrating the printing process is available on the project website.
Further information can also be found in a paper (preprint, accepted for publication but not published yet)

One of the remaining challenges in the field of fully 3D-printed electronic circuits is the creation of connections in z-direction, spanning several layers of printed plastic material. While the printer is quite capable of printing planar connections, "jumping" from one layer to the next is still challenging, particularly for real vertical wires, either inside of the object or at it's surface, following the contour. The general idea is to print a structure like this, where red lines are plastic extrusions and the silver represents conductive ink:

The goal of this thesis therefore includes several experiments with the printer to evaluate different approaches to print along the z-axis and a more algorithmic part, aiming at automatic routing of wires by finding suitable positions and parameters (e.g. slope) for the z-interconnects. Todo: describe existing routing algorithm and insert some images of printed electronics and proposed z-connection strategies.




Please ask for more information or see the website.