Developing a reliable method to connect conductors to 3D printed conducting structures

3D-printed sensors are a novel but foremost complicated matter, for using these 3D-Printed sensors in practical applications they have to be connected to a metal conductor. This report Will dive into the details of how such a connection between conductive polymer and metal can be created and, foremost important be made mechanically and electrically reliable. Perforated copper tape with lots of 600 um holes, over-molded by a 3D-printer’s nozzle, performed from all the tested methods in this report by far the best. By this is meant in terms of mechanical strength and electrical stability. For the over-molding to be successful, the bed temperature of the sample is set to at least 65°C. This will let the sample warm-up and will prevent the conductive polymer extruded out of the nozzle, from cooling to fast and make an insufficiently weak bond through the holes of the perforated tape.

Furthermore, This report will also introduce a new method, the In-Situ resistance measurement. This method means that the conductive samples are monitored from the moment that the printer starts printing. This method revealed that an extrusion multiplier above 100% (110%, 120%) resulted in a sample with increased internal resistance, which stayed permanent even after settling for several days. Compared to a sample printed with a multiplier of 100%.

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