Semester/Master Project: Advanced additive manufacturing instrument development

Melt electro writing (MEW) is an emerging high-resolution additive manufacturing technique for fibers, membranes and 3D objects in the micrometer range. MEW is related to solution electrospinning and allows the fabrication of continuous fibers with diameters of 1 – 50 µm, this is up to 10x smaller than for most other additive manufacturing techniques. Current and future applications of MEW include biomedical sci-ences, sensors, the textile industry, filtration technologies and many more.
In the MEW process a polymer melt is expelled from a charged nozzle, forming a continuous fiber. This fiber is stabilized by an electric field and accumulates on an electrically grounded collector. Moving the collector according to a preprogramed trajectorydesign allows “printing” of patterns and structures. We recently built a MEW printer that allows for micro-metre sized 2D and 2.5D structures.

A) MEW instrument at LMIS1 B) 3D MEW printed structure (adapted from Liashenko 2020) C) 2.5D printed “checkerboard” structure, 10 fibres stacked at intersection points

The goal of this student project is to further develop this instrument, including hardware, software and processing.
There are multiple project openings for master project, master thesis and internships available. Students with interest and experience in computer science and/or mechatronics are especially encouraged to apply. If more students are interested, we will define the work for a team.

Possible projects are:
• Creation of custom software for data collection, collector trajectory control and real-time parameter analysis and regulation
• Upgrading the instrument hardware to allow for full 3D printing, advanced processing control and im-proved environment regulation
• Development of printing processes for 2D and 3D structures with established and new materials.

Work description:
• Improvement of MEW setup and software
• Development of printing process


Prof. J. Brugger (LMIS-1)

Prof. Ch. Moser (LAPD)