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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/21384

Title: High precision self-alignment using liquid surface tension for additively manufactured micro components
Authors: Overton, J.K.
Kinnell, Peter
Lawes, Simon
Ratchev, S.
Keywords: Self-assembly
Surface tension
Micro assembly
Micro parts
Additive manufacturing
3D printing
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: © Elsevier
Citation: OVERTON, J.K. ...et al., 2015. High precision self-alignment using liquid surface tension for additively manufactured micro components. Precision Engineering, 40, pp. 230-240.
Abstract: Self-assembly of components using liquid surface tension is an attractive alternative to traditional robotic pick-and-place as it offers high assembly accuracy for coarse initial part placement. One of the key requirements of this method is the containment of the liquid within a designated binding site. This paper looks to expand the applications of self-assembly and investigates the use of topographical structures applied to 3D printed micro components for self-assembly using liquid surface tension. An analysis of the effect of edge geometry on liquid contact angle was conducted. A range of binding sites were produced with varying edge geometries, 45-135°, and for a variety of site shapes and sizes, 0.4 - 1 mm in diameter, and 0.5 x 0.5 – 1 x 1 mm square. Liquid water droplets were applied to the structures and contact angles measured. Significant increases in contact angle were observed, up to 158°, compared to 70° for droplets on planar surfaces, demonstrating the ability of these binding sites to successfully pin the triple contact line at the boundary. Three challenging self-assembly cases were examined, 1) linear initial component misplacement >0.5 mm, 2) angular misplacement of components, 3) 2 misplacement of droplet. Across all three assembly cases the lowest misalignments in final component position, as well as highest repeatability, were observed for structures with actual edge geometries <90° (excluding 45° nominal), where the mean magnitude of misalignment was found to be 31 μm with 14 μm standard deviation.
Description: This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Precision Engineering and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.precisioneng.2014.12.004
Sponsor: The authors would like to acknowledge the generous funding provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council EPSRC that has made this research possible.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1016/j.precisioneng.2014.12.004
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/21384
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.precisioneng.2014.12.004
ISSN: 0141-6359
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering)

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