Research Papers

Image-Based Closed-Loop Control of Aerosol Jet Printing Using Classical Control Methods

[+] Author and Article Information
Jack P. Lombardi, III

Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering,
Binghamton University,
Binghamton, NY 13902
e-mail: jlombar4@binghamton.edu

Roozbeh (Ross) Salary

Division of Mechanical Engineering,
Marshall University,
Huntington, WV 25755
e-mail: salary@marshall.edu

Darshana L. Weerawarne

Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing,
Binghamton University,
Binghamton, NY 13902
e-mail: dweerawa@binghamton.edu

Prahalada K. Rao

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
Lincoln, NE 68588
e-mail: rao@unl.edu

Mark D. Poliks

Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering,
Binghamton University,
Binghamton, NY 13902
e-mail: mpoliks@binghamton.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received July 23, 2018; final manuscript received April 10, 2019; published online May 28, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Laine Mears.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 141(7), 071011 (May 28, 2019) (9 pages) Paper No: MANU-18-1562; doi: 10.1115/1.4043659 History: Received July 23, 2018; Accepted April 11, 2019

Aerosol jet printing (AJP) is a complex process for additive electronics that is often unstable. To overcome this instability, observation while printing and control of the printing process using image-based monitoring is demonstrated. This monitoring is validated against images taken after the print and shown highly correlated and useful for the determination of printed linewidth. These images and the observed linewidth are used as input for closed-loop control of the printing process, with print speed changed in response to changes in the observed linewidth. Regression is used to relate these quantities and forms the basis of proportional and proportional integral control. Electrical test structures were printed with controlled and uncontrolled printing, and it was found that the control influenced their linewidth and electrical properties, giving improved uniformity in both size and electrical performance.

Copyright © 2019 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Zhan, Z., Yu, L., Wei, J., Zheng, C., Sun, D., and Wang, L., 2014, “Application of Aerosol Jet Technology in Through-Via Interconnection for MEMS Wafer-Level Packaging,” Microsyst. Technol., 21(2), pp. 451–455. [CrossRef]
Cai, F., Pavlidis, S., Papapolymerou, J., Chang, Y. H., Wang, K., Zhang, C., and Wang, B., 2014, “Aerosol Jet Printing for 3-D Multilayer Passive Microwave Circuitry,” 2014 44th European Microwave Conference (EuMC), Rome, Italy, Oct. 6–9, pp. 512–515.
Rudorfer, A., Tscherner, M., Palfinger, C., Reil, F., Hartmann, P., Seferis, I. E., Zych, E., and Wenzl, F. P., 2016, “A Study on Aerosol Jet Printing Technology in LED Module Manufacturing,” Fifteenth International Conference on Solid State Lighting and LED-based Illumination Systems, San Diego, CA, Aug. 28– Sept. 1, Proc. SPIE 9954, p. 99540E.
Gupta, A. A., Bolduc, A., Cloutier, S. G., and Izquierdo, R., 2016, “Aerosol Jet Printing for Printed Electronics Rapid Prototyping,” 2016 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS), Montreal, QC, Canada, May 22–25, pp. 866–869.
Stoukatch, S., Laurent, P., Dricot, S., Axisa, F., Seronveaux, L., Vandormael, D., Beeckman, E., Heusdens, B., and Destiné, J., 2012, “Evaluation of Aerosol Jet Printing (AJP) Technology for Electronic Packaging and Interconnect Technique,” 2012 4th Electronic System-Integration Technology Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands, pp. 1–9.
Seifert, T., Baum, M., Roscher, F., Wiemer, M., and Gessner, T., 2015, “Aerosol Jet Printing of Nano Particle Based Electrical Chip Interconnects,” Mater. Today: Proc., 2(8), pp. 4262–4271. nanoFIS 2014 – Functional Integrated nanoSystems. [CrossRef]
Aga, R., Lombardi, J., Bartsch, C., and Heckman, E., 2014, “Performance of a Printed Photodetector on a Paper Substrate,” IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett., 26(3), pp. 305–308. [CrossRef]
Li, S., Park, J. G., Wang, S., Liang, R., Zhang, C., and Wang, B., 2014, “Working Mechanisms of Strain Sensors Utilizing Aligned Carbon Nanotube Network and Aerosol Jet Printed Electrodes,” Carbon, 73, pp. 303–309. [CrossRef]
Paulsen, J. A., Renn, M., Christenson, K., and Plourde, R., 2012, “Printing Conformal Electronics on 3D Structures with Aerosol Jet Technology,” Future of Instrumentation International Workshop (FIIW), Gatlinburg, TN, pp. 1–4.
Mahajan, A., Frisbie, C. D., and Francis, L. F., 2013, “Optimization of Aerosol Jet Printing for High-Resolution, High-Aspect Ratio Silver Lines,” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 5(11), pp. 4856–4864. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Verheecke, W., Van Dyck, M., Vogeler, F., Voet, A., and Valkenaers, H., 2012, “Optimizing Aerosol Jet®Printing of Silver Interconnects on Polyimide Film for Embedded Electronics Applications,” 8th International DAAAM Baltic Conference, Tallinn, Estonia, Apr. 19–21, pp. 373–379.
Goth, C., Putzo, S., and Franke, J., 2011, “Aerosol Jet Printing on Rapid Prototyping Materials for Fine Pitch Electronic Applications,” 2011 IEEE 61st Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC), Lake Buena Vista, FL, pp. 1211–1216.
Salary, R. R., Lombardi, J. P., Rao, P. K., and Poliks, M. D., 2017, “Online Monitoring of Functional Electrical Properties in Aerosol Jet Printing Additive Manufacturing Process Using Shape-From-Shading Image Analysis,” ASME J. Manuf. Sci. Eng., 139(10), p. 101010. [CrossRef]
Salary, R., Lombardi, J., Tootooni, M. S., Donovan, R., Rao, P. K., Borgesen, P., and Poliks, M. D., 2016, “Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling and Online Monitoring of Aerosol Jet Printing Process,” ASME J. Manuf. Sci. Eng., 139(2), p. 21. [CrossRef]
Thompson, B., and Yoon, H.-S., 2015, “Velocity-Regulated Path Planning Algorithm for Aerosol Printing Systems,” ASME J. Manuf. Sci. Eng., 137(3), p. 031020. [CrossRef]
Smith, M., Choi, Y. S., Boughey, C., and Kar-Narayan, S., 2017, “Controlling and Assessing the Quality of Aerosol Jet Printed Features for Large Area and Flexible Electronics,” Flexible and Printed Electronics, 2(1), p. 015004. [CrossRef]
Gu, Y., Gutierrez, D., Das, S., and Hines, D. R., 2017, “Inkwells for On-Demand Deposition Rate Measurement in Aerosol-Jet Based 3D Printing,” J. Micromech. Microeng., 27(9), p. 097001. [CrossRef]
Sun, H., Wang, K., Li, Y., Zhang, C., and Jin, R., 2017, “Quality Modeling of Printed Electronics in aerosol Jet Printing Based on Microscopic Images,” ASME J. Manuf. Sci. Eng., 139(7), p. 071012. [CrossRef]
Li, Y., Mohan, K., Sun, H., and Jin, R., 2017, “Ensemble Modeling of In Situ Features for Printed Electronics Manufacturing With In Situ Process Control Potential,” IEEE Robot. Autom. Lett., 2(4), pp. 1864–1870. [CrossRef]
Xiong, J., and Zhang, G., Apr. 2014, “Adaptive Control of Deposited Height in GMAW-Based Layer Additive Manufacturing,” J. Mater. Process. Technol., 214(4), pp. 962–968. [CrossRef]
Xiong, J., Yin, Z., and Zhang, W., 2016, “Closed-Loop Control of Variable Layer Width for Thin-Walled Parts in Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing,” J. Mater. Process. Technol., 233, pp. 100–106. [CrossRef]
Franklin, G. F., Powell, J. D., and Emami-Naeini, A., 2006, Feedback Control of Dynamic Systems, 5th ed, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Pozar, D. M., 2011, Microwave Engineering, 4th ed, Wiley Global Education, Hoboken, NJ.
Cai, F., Chang, Y.-h., Wang, K., Khan, W., Pavlidis, S., and Papapolymerou, J., 2014, “High Resolution Aerosol Jet Printing of D- Band Printed Transmission Lines on Flexible LCP Substrate,” 2014 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS), Tampa, FL, pp. 1–3.
Cai, F., Chang, Y. H., Wang, K., Zhang, C., Wang, B., and Papapolymerou, J., Oct. 2016, “Low-Loss 3-D Multilayer Transmission Lines and Interconnects Fabricated by Additive Manufacturing Technologies,” IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Techn, 64(10), pp. 3208–3216. [CrossRef]
Godlinski, D., Zichner, R., Zöllmer, V., and Baumann, R. R., 2017, “Printing Technologies for the Manufacturing of Passive Microwave Components: Antennas,” Antennas Propag. IET Microw., 11(14), pp. 2010–2015. [CrossRef]
Huang, T., Wang, S., and He, K., 2015, “Quality Control for Fused Deposition Modeling Based Additive Manufacturing: Current research and future trends,” 2015 First International Conference on Reliability Systems Engineering (ICRSE), Beijing, China, pp. 1–6.
Pinto-Lopera, J., S. T. Motta, J., and Absi Alfaro, S., 2016, “Real-Time Measurement of Width and Height of Weld Beads in GMAW Processes,” Sensors, 16(9), pp. 1500. [CrossRef]
Ding, D., Pan, Z., Cuiuri, D., Li, H., van Duin, S., and Larkin, N., 2016, “Bead Modelling and Implementation of Adaptive MAT Path in Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing,” Robot. Comput.-Integr. Manuf., 39, pp. 32–42. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Photo of process monitor and alignment cameras on the Optomec AJ-300 used in this study

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Example images collected in this study from the process monitor (a) and the alignment camera (b). Note that the shading in the process monitor image is due to the lighting and observation at an angle.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Layout of the four-point test structures. The central line in the structure was printed controlled or uncontrolled.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Diagram of the various inputs, outputs, and software used to monitor and control the AJP process

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Comparison of observed linewidths at different print speeds by the process monitor and alignment camera. The results are highly correlated and similar. The error bars represent one standard deviation.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Plot of average electrical resistance of the controlled and uncontrolled four-point lines using the P controller. The error bars represent one standard deviation.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Plot of observed linewidth as a function of print speed, used to find proportional controller gain. The error bars show the standard error of the mean.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Photograph of the first set of four-point structures. The dimensions of the four-point test structures are shown in Fig. 5.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Plot of average linewidth for the controlled and uncontrolled four-point structures using the P controller. The error bars represent one standard deviation.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Plot of linewidth and print speed for the third controlled and uncontrolled four-point structures printed in Set 2. Note how the controlled data has a regular oscillation and is closer to the specified linewidth.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

A screen capture of the matlab simulink model used to test PID controller designs and create a PI controller that was then implemented on the printer

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Plot of controlled and uncontrolled average linewidths using the PI controller. The error bars represent one standard deviation. Note that the specified linewidth of 80 μm is within the error bars of all the controlled sets.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Graphic depiction of cropping and image analysis at 2 mm/s print speed. The previous image is shown on the left, and the area analyzed and cropped from that image is removed from the current image. The current image is then cropped an analyzed, with the detected line edges shown in blue.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Plot of linewidths for the second controlled and uncontrolled lines in Set 2, as well as the print speed used for the controlled printing. Note how the linewidth started above specification, but was brought to the specification and maintained there by the controller.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

Plot of the average measured resistance of controlled and uncontrolled lines using the PI controller. Note how the controlled sets are almost in line with each other. Error bars represent one standard deviation.



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