A Comparison between Microfabrication Technologies for Metal Tooling

L. Uriarte, A. Ivanov, H Oosterling, L. Staemmler, Peter Torben Tang, D. Allen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    The current paper is based on the information gathered within 4M Network activities, specifically in the "Processing of Metals" Division (Task 7.2 "Tooling"). The aim of the task involves a systematic analysis of the partners' expertise in different technologies for processing tooling inserts made of metal. The following technologies have been analysed: micromilling, microEDM (microelectro discharge machining, including wire-EDM, sinking-EDM and EDM-milling), laser micromachining, electroforming and ECF (an innovative process proposed by HSG-IMAT). Considered materials are nickel for electroforming, stainless steel for ECF, and tool steel (AISI H13) for the other processes. Typical features (ribs, channels, pins and holes) required by microoptics, microfluidics and sensors and actuators applications have been selected to carry out this analysis The task results provide a global comparison between the previously mentioned processes in terms of technical and cost effectiveness features. As a second result, the current limitations of these technologies concerning feature sizes, surface finish, aspect ratios, etc. have been identified. The main conclusion drawn is the non-existence of a consolidated technology to produce 3D free-form shapes smaller than 100~200 microns.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication4M conference, 29. juni – 1. juli 2005
    Publication date2005
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    Event International Conference on Multi-Material Micro Manufacture (4M 2005) - Karlsruhe, Germany
    Duration: 29 Jun 20051 Jul 2005


    Conference International Conference on Multi-Material Micro Manufacture (4M 2005)


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