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Three-dimensional (3D) printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is now common place in many industries and is used widely to print a number of complex and demanding structures and components, from millimeter to meter scale. However, detailed work, together with demonstrator devices, is still in the very early stages in relation to the manufacture of microwave and terahertz circuits, in this day and age important for free space communications, security sensing and remote monitoring of the Earth’s atmosphere. Microwave component manufacture requires a much higher level of precision and materials than currently available.
Funded by the EPSRC, this project has evaluated and improved the performance of 3D printing when applied to producing microwave and terahertz passive and diode circuits (from 10 GHz to 1000 GHz) through measurement, design and demonstration. The focus is on evaluating 3D printed circuits at frequencies above about 50 GHz, the small feature sizes required for these frequencies allows only the best printing process to compete; enabling the project to evaluate the most advanced 3D printing approaches