This project explores the use of laser-induced microbubbles for both two-dimensional and three-dimensional printing. At its most basic level, this novel printing concept begins with a laser heating up a nanoparticle substrate. The thermal energy input to the system forms a microbubble, and its corresponding convection currents pin nanoparticle deposits at the substrate/bubble interface. Extending this style of printing into three dimensions presents unique issues when exploring two different printing techniques. For the layer-by-layer technique (similar to a conventional 3D printer), wall height irregularities occur due to inconsistent deposition. To solve this problem, the velocity of the stage is programmed to decrease or increase in line with the areas which need more or less deposition. For the vector technique (similar to a printing pen), structures not parallel to gravity lose their stability and consistency. To correct this defect, a double-axis rotating stage was constructed in order to keep the build parallel to gravity to ensure a consistent print for any combination of shapes. So far, this project has successfully evened out layer-by-layer prints and has achieved the rotation required to construct slanted builds.

Document Type

Final Report

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences Independent Study

Date of Submission