Electrochemical Additive Manufacturing (ECAM)
Electrochemical Additive Manufacturing (ECAM) is a novel manufacturing method being developed at UCMAN that is capable of producing complex shaped functional metal parts layer-by-layer directly from computer generated 3D CAD models. The process can be explained as localized electrochemical deposition of metal on a substrate. The system takes in CAD file and converts it into G codes. Mach3 is the PC based controller, which is used to control the movement of the axes of the stage. It takes in G-codes and sends out step/direction pulses based on the G-codes to control the movement of the stage.
Exclusive features of the process:
3D freestanding structures were made using the process. The parts were manufactured through an in-house built AM setup that takes STL files as input. Parts with features as small as 100 µm have been manufactured using this system.
Traditional AM techniques have limitations such as choice of material, anisotropy, porosity, strength, scalability, support structure, and internal stresses. ECAM process has the potential to overcome some of these as it is a nonthermal process that has considerably lower residual stresses and the addition of material is atom by atom resulting in excellent microstructural properties which can be controlled in process. ECAM process is capable of depositing most of the conductive materials including metals, metal alloys, conducting polymers, and even some semiconductors.