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Stereolithographed Microwave Components


Stereolithography is a useful technology for the rapid fabrication of objects with complex or detailed geometries, including parts like microwave components. We use stereolithographed parts made of a resilient "plastic" that will later are plated with conductive metal(s) for use as waveguides and corrugated horn antennae.

The trouble is, it is very difficult to plate a non-conductive surface as detailed as a microwave horn, and previous attempts have yielded poor results, such as non-adhesive copper plating that fell off after cooling.

Currently, we treat the lithograph surfaces with a series of oxidizing baths before using an electroless nickel plating solution to apply a uniform coating of nickel. Below is a nickel plated stereolitographed sample and a plating bath that has "plated out" after use.


Chemical BathMichael-test

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Last updated: 7/20/10
 

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