Analysis of Microwave Passive Circuits Designed Using 3D Printing Techniques
This work presents the results of a preliminary study conducted to assess the viability of using 3D printing techniques for the manufacturing of microwave passive circuits based on microstrip techniques, both for prototyping new low-cost devices and for fast and costless testing of new circuits designs. The study was aimed to test two crucial factors in the viability of these procedures: the performance of the circuit in terms of its functionality and the structural integrity of the resulting structure. A low-cost 3D printer is proposed for the dielectric substrate design of microstrip circuits. Standard PolyLactic Acid (PLA) material has been characterized in the microwaves frequencies for different substrate sizes and densities. To verify the proposed method, a low-pass stepped impedance filter was designed, simulated, and measured. Finally, a structural analysis using Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) ultrasonic techniques has been carried out based on deconvolution and resonant spectroscopy. Both, electronic and structural results, have shown the feasibility of using low-cost additive techniques in the design of microwave circuits.