Research Papers

Development and Modeling of Melt Electrohydrodynamic-Jet Printing of Phase-Change Inks for High-Resolution Additive Manufacturing

[+] Author and Article Information
Chuang Wei

Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial
and Systems Engineering,
North Carolina State University,
Raleigh, NC 27695

Jingyan Dong

Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial
and Systems Engineering,
North Carolina State University,
Raleigh, NC 27695
e-mail: jdong@ncsu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received April 14, 2014; final manuscript received August 26, 2014; published online October 24, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Darrell Wallace.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 136(6), 061010 (Oct 24, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: MANU-14-1179; doi: 10.1115/1.4028483 History: Received April 14, 2014; Revised August 26, 2014

This paper presents the development and modeling a high-resolution electrohydrodynamic-jet (EHD-jet) printing process using phase-change ink (i.e., wax), which is capable of producing sub-10 μm footprints (sub-10 fL in volume) for super-resolution additive manufacturing. In this study, we successfully apply EHD-jet printing for phase-change ink (wax), which is widely used as modeling and supporting material for additive manufacturing, to achieve micron-scale features. The resolution for single droplet on substrate is around 5 μm with the thickness in the range of 1–2 μm, which provides great potential in both high-resolution 3D printing and 2D drop-on-demand microfabrication. The droplet formation in EHD printing is modeled by finite element analysis (FEA). Two important forces in EHD printing, electrostatic force and surface tension force, are modeled separately by FEA. The droplet size is obtained by balancing the electrostatic force and surface tension of the pending droplets around meniscus apex. Furthermore, to predict the droplet dimension at different process conditions, a dimensionless scaling law is identified to describe the relationship between dimensionless droplet diameter and modified nondimensional electrical bond number. Finally, the droplets in-flight velocity and impact characteristics (e.g., Reynolds number and Weber number) are modeled using the results from FEA analysis.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Ian, G., Rosen, D. W., and Stucker, B., 2009, Additive Manufacturing Technologies: Rapid Prototyping to Direct Digital Manufacturing, Springer, New York.
Kruth, J.-P., Leu, M. C., and Nakagawa, T., 1998, “Progress in Additive Manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping,” CIRP Ann. Manuf. Technol., 47(2), pp. 525–540. [CrossRef]
Melchels, F. P. W., Domingos, M. A. N., Klein, T. J., Malda, J., Bartolo, P. J., and Hutmacher, D. W., 2012, “Additive Manufacturing of Tissues and Organs,” Prog. Polym. Sci., 37(8), pp. 1079–1104. [CrossRef]
Beaman, J., Marcus, H. L., Bourell, D. L., Barlow, J. W., Crawford, R. H., and McAlea, K. P., Solid Freeform Fabrication: A New Direction in Manufacturing, Kluwer Academic Publishers, London, UK. [CrossRef]
Hutmacher, D. W., Sittinger, M., and Risbud, M. V., 2004, “Scaffold-Based Tissue Engineering: Rationale for Computer-Aided Design and Solid Free-Form Fabrication Systems,” Trends Biotechnol., 22(7), pp. 354–362. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Tan, J., and Saltzman, W. M., 2002, “Topographical Control of Human Neutrophil Motility on Micropatterned Materials With Various Surface Chemistry,” Biomaterials, 23(15), pp. 3215–3225. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Wang, K., Cai, L., Zhang, L., Dong, J., and Wang, S., 2012, “Biodegradable Photo-Crosslinked Polymer Substrates With Concentric Microgrooves for Regulating MC3T3-E1 Cell Behavior,” Adv. Healthcare Mater., 1(3), pp. 292–301. [CrossRef]
Cloupeau, M., and Prunet-Foch, B., 1994, “Electrohydrodynamic Spraying Functioning Modes: A Critical Review,” J. Aerosol Sci., 25(6), pp. 1021–1036. [CrossRef]
Jayasinghe, S. N., Qureshi, A. N., and Eagles, P. A. M., 2005, “Electrohydrodynamic Jet Processing: An Advanced Electric-Field-Driven Jetting Phenomenon for Processing Living Cells,” Small, 2(2), pp. 216–219. [CrossRef]
Enayati, M., Ahmad, Z., Stride, E., and Edirisinghe, M., 2010, “One-Step Electrohydrodynamic Production of Drug-Loaded Micro- and Nanoparticles,” J. R. Soc. Interface, 7(45), pp. 667–675. [CrossRef]
Kim, J.-S., Chung, W.-S., Kim, K., Kim, D. Y., Paeng, K.-J., Jo, S. M., and Jang, S.-Y., 2010, “Performance Optimization of Polymer Solar Cells Using Electrostatically Sprayed Photoactive Layers,” Adv. Funct. Mater., 20(20), pp. 3538–3546. [CrossRef]
Sill, T. J., and von Recum, H. A., 2008, “Electrospinning: Applications in Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering,” Biomaterials, 29(13), pp. 1989–2006. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Hansen, N. S., Cho, D., and Joo, Y. L., 2012, “Metal Nanofibers With Highly Tunable Electrical and Magnetic Properties Via Highly Loaded Water-Based Electrospinning,” Small, 8(10), pp. 1510–1514. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Gries, K., Vieker, H., Gölzhäuser, A., Agarwal, S., and Greiner, A., 2012, “Preparation of Continuous Gold Nanowires by Electrospinning of High-Concentration Aqueous Dispersions of Gold Nanoparticles,” Small, 8(9). pp. 1436–1441. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Lee, J., Lee, S. Y., Jang, J., Jeong, Y. H., and Cho, D.-W., 2012 “Fabrication of Patterned Nanofibrous Mats Using Direct-Write Electrospinning,” Langmuir, 28(18), pp. 7267–7275. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Dalton, P. D., Joergensen, N. T., Groll, J., and Moeller, M., 2008, “Patterned Melt Electrospun Substrates for Tissue Engineering,” Biomed. Mater., 3(3), p. 034109. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Sun, D., Chang, C., Li, S., and Lin, L., 2006, “Near-Field Electrospinning,” Nano Lett., 6(4), pp. 839–842. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Wei, C., and Dong, J., 2013, “Direct Fabrication of High-Resolution Three-Dimensional Polymeric Scaffolds Using Electrohydrodynamic Hot Jet Plotting,” J. Micromech. Microeng., 23(2), p. 025017. [CrossRef]
Wei, C., and Dong, J., 2013, “Hybrid Hierarchical Fabrication of Three-Dimensional Scaffolds,” J. Manuf. Processes, 16(2), pp. 257–263. [CrossRef]
Park, J.-U., Hardy, M., Kang, S. J., Barton, K., Adair, K., Mukhopadhyay, D. K., Lee, C. Y., Strano, M. S., Alleyne, A. G., Georgiadis, J. G., Ferreira, P. M., and Rogers, J. A., 2007, “High-Resolution Electrohydrodynamic Jet Printing,” Nat. Mater., 6(10), pp. 782–789. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Wei, C., Qin, H., Ramírez-Iglesias, N. A., Chiu, C.-P., Lee, Y.-s., and Dong, J., 2014, “High-Resolution AC-Pulse Modulated Electrohydrodynamic Jet Printing on Highly Insulating Substrates,” J. Micromech. Microeng., 24(4), p. 045010. [CrossRef]
Kang, D. K., Lee, M. W., Kim, H. Y., James, S. C., and Yoon, S. S., 2011, “Electrohydrodynamic Pulsed-Inkjet Characteristics of Various Inks Containing Aluminum Particles,” J. Aerosol Sci., 42(10), pp. 621–630. [CrossRef]
Xu, L., Wang, X., Lei, T., Sun, D., and Lin, L., 2011, “Electrohydrodynamic Deposition of Polymeric Droplets Under Low-Frequency Pulsation,” Langmuir27(10), pp. 6541–6548. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Mishra, S., Barton, K. L., Alleyne, A. G., Ferreira, P. M., and Rogers, J. A., 2010, “High-Speed and Drop-On-Demand Printing With a Pulsed Electrohydrodynamic Jet,” J. Micromech. Microeng., 20(9), p. 095026. [CrossRef]
Poellmann, M. J., Barton, K. L., Mishra, S., and Johnson, A. J. W., 2011, “Patterned Hydrogel Substrates for Cell Culture With Electrohydrodynamic Jet Printing,” Macromol. Biosci., 11(9), pp. 1164–1168. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Pikul, J. H., Graf, P., Mishra, S., Barton, K., Kim, Y.-K., Rogers, J. A., Alleyne, A., Ferreira, P. M., and King, W. P., 2011, “High Precision Electrohydrodynamic Printing of Polymer Onto Microcantilever Sensors,” IEEE J. Sens., 11(10), pp. 2246–2253. [CrossRef]
Fathi, S., and Dickens, P., 2012, “Nozzle Wetting and Instabilities During Droplet Formation of Molten Nylon Materials in an Inkjet Printhead,” ASME J. Manuf. Sci. Eng., 134(4), p. 041008. [CrossRef]
Galliker, P., Schneider, J., Eghlidi, H., Kress, S., Sandoghdar, V., and Poulikakos, D., 2012, “Direct Printing of Nanostructures by Electrostatic Autofocussing of Ink Nanodroplets,” Nat. Commun., 3, p. 890. [CrossRef]
Collins, R. T., Jones, J. J., Harris, M. T., and Basaran, O. A., 2008, “Electrohydrodynamic Tip Streaming and Emission of Charged Drops From Liquid Cones,” Nat. Phys., 4(2), pp. 149–154. [CrossRef]
Collins, R. T., Sambath, K., Harris, M. T., and Basaran, O. A., 2013, “Universal Scaling Laws for the Disintegration of Electrified Drops,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 110(13), pp. 4905–4910. [CrossRef]
López-Herrera, J. M., Popinet, S., and Herrada, M. A., 2011, “A Charge-Conservative Approach for Simulating Electrohydrodynamic Two-Phase Flows Using Volume-of-Fluid,” J. Comput. Phys., 230(5), pp. 1939–1955. [CrossRef]
Forbes, T. P., Degertekin, F. L., and Fedorov, A. G., 2010, “Electrohydrodynamics of Charge Separation in Droplet-Based Ion Sources With Time-Varying Electrical and Mechanical Actuation,” J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom., 21(4), pp. 501–510. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Kim, H., Song, J., Chung, J., and Hong, D., 2010, “Onset Condition of Pulsating Cone-Jet Mode of Electrohydrodynamic Jetting for Plane, Hole, and Pin Type Electrodes,” J. Appl. Phys., 108(10), p. 102804. [CrossRef]
Lee, M. W., Kim, N. Y., and Yoon, S. S., 2013, “On Pinchoff Behavior of Electrified Droplets,” J. Aerosol Sci., 57, pp. 114–124. [CrossRef]
Han, Y., Wei, C., and Dong, J., 2014, “Super-Resolution Electrohydrodynamic (EHD) 3D Printing of Micro-Structures Using Phase-Change Inks,” Manuf. Lett., 2(4), pp. 96–99. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic of the EHD-jet printing setup and experimental setup for EHD-jet printing

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

(a) Pulsating (microdripping) mode of EHD printing of wax. (b) Footprint of printed droplets from different voltages, from left 560 V to right 640 V.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Droplets dimension at different process conditions. (a) Morphology and cross section of a typical droplet (from tip III printed at 890 V). (b) Droplet volume, (c) footprint diameter, and (d) thickness for droplets printed by three different nozzles at respective working voltage range.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

(a) Drop-on-demand printed letter patterns. (b) Micropillar structures by printing droplet directly on the top of the previous droplets.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

(a) Schematic configuration for FEA study of the electrostatic force on the droplets. (b) Cross section plot of the nozzle, meniscus, and half ejected droplet. (c) Electrical field distribution around the nozzle tip during droplet ejection (the unit of the scale bar is V/μm).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

FEA results (dots) and fitted relations from Eq. (1) (line) of electrostatic force for tip I. (a) Relationship between electrostatic forces and voltages. (b) Relationship between electrostatic forces and droplet diameter. (c) Relationship between electrostatic forces and nozzle diameter. (d) Verification of the force prediction from Eq. (1) (circle) using experimental obtained droplet diameter (square).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

(a) Intersection points of the line for surface tension force and the curves for electrostatic force give the resulting droplets diameter at different voltages for tip I. (b) Comparison between droplets dimension from FEA (lines) and experimentally measured results (data points) for three different nozzles.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Effective voltage considering the dielectric substrate

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Experimental results indicate a unified relationship between normalize droplet diameter and electrical bond number

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

(a) Schematic configuration for FEA study of electrostatic field strength and charge calculation. (b) Electrostatic field distribution along center axis for tip I at 560 V (bottom), 600 V (middle), and 640 V (top). The insertion shows the electrical field distribution around meniscus apex. (c) Charge of a single droplet for three tips at their own working range.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

(a) Typical velocity profile for droplet in-flight for tip I at 560 V, 600 V, and 640 V. (b) Impact velocity for three nozzles at different voltages. (c) Reynolds number and (d) Weber number at impact for three nozzles, tip I, tip II, and tip III.




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In