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Higher Performing Systems

The Advanced Manufacturing Deposition Systems (AMDS) group is part of the Hardware Systems Laboratory. The group’s main focus is on platform technologies with the ability to impact a broad range of industries. We strive to develop systems that increase overall system-level performance without necessarily requiring advancements in material performance. This is accomplished through even greater control over the manufacturing process and often increased digital fidelity, all while striving to ensure our systems are readily scalable from conception. Our two core technology groups are: structured manufacturing systems and advanced deposition systems, both of which incubate technologies that can achieve wide-ranging improvements in important products being produced today. 

Captions from left to right, CoExtrusion printhead is capable of printing structured  battery electrodes; The Filament Extension Atomizer (FEA) sprays difficult to spray materials through filament stretching; Electrohydrodynamic Film Patterning (EHD-FP) can create multiscale features in films; Digital Functional Gradient Manufacturing (DFGM) prints objects with variable mechanical properties.

Structured Manufacturing Systems

The AMDS group has two core technologies within the portfolio of structured manufacturing systems.  CoExtrusion has been successfully deployed within a pilot plant to print high aspect ratio silver lines on solar cells, and is now being developed to create thick electrodes with structured high and low lithium storage and conductivity regions. These structured thick electrodes change the tradeoffs in manufacturing, allowing battery manufacturers to create batteries with higher energy density or power, or opt to decrease costs. PARC also recently completed an initial project to further develop its Electrohydrodynamic Film Patterning (EHD-FP) technology. This technology is an electrostatic non-contact film patterning method that allows for the creation of multi-scale hierarchical structures with size scales ranging from microns to millimeters. When used to create truss structures, this method can eliminate tradeoffs between strength and toughness, allowing for the creation of systems with greatly enhanced properties when compared to the bulk materials.

Advanced Deposition Systems

PARC has a long history in large-scale printing and digital deposition systems from its work with its parent company, Xerox. Starting with some of the first work in laser printing and continuing on to inkjet, PARC was crucial in the development of these technologies. The AMDS group has taken much of this knowledge and applied it to create methods for atomizing difficult to process fluids and the creation of novel methods of additive manufacturing.

While many printing and deposition systems have been optimized for low-viscosity, Newtonian fluids, many chemistries and formulations are in fact high viscosity or non-Newtonian. These fluids are difficult to process, for example through spray processing, and require either solvents or reformulation.  To solve this problem, the AMDS group has invented the Filament Extension Atomizer (FEA). FEA is readily capable of spraying difficult or impossible to spray fluids with extremely high zero-shear viscosity and highly non-Newtonian properties. This technology is even capable of spraying melt polymers and has inspired a new method of additive manufacturing, which is capable of processing standard injection molding thermoplastics at high resolution and speed.

Additionally, we’ve been working on a wholly new method of manufacturing high-performance composite parts with arbitrarily varying material properties. Called Digital Functional Gradient Manufacturing (DFGM), this technology builds on work in simple single-axis gradients, and uses our expertise in microfluidics and particle manipulation to create a whole new way of manufacturing objects. These objects can have unique properties, being both globally stretchy and locally rigid, and, when combined with other work PARC is doing in large-area electronics and printed electronics, this technology can help enable the direct printing of functional objects. 




PARC's key enablers

Filament Extension Atomizer (FEA): Next-Generation Spray Technology for Difficult to Spray Materials
PARC has developed the Filament Extension Atomizer (FEA) to address problems arising from difficult to spray materials. This technology is capable of spraying materials previously either difficult or impossible to spray for a wide range of applications including spray coating, particle creation, spray drying, drug delivery, or powder coatings.


Polymer spray deposition

Digital functional gradient manufacturing (DFGM)

Electro hydro dynamic film patterning (EHD-FP)