Investigation of the performances of waveguide bend components fabricated with 3D printing and copper plating

Genc A., Goksu T., HELHEL S.

JOURNAL OF THE FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND ARCHITECTURE OF GAZI UNIVERSITY, vol.34, no.2, pp.802-809, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The interest in the production of microwave passive components with the methods of additive manufacturing has increased recently. The most important advantages of these methods are to produce microwave passive components having complex geometry in short time, low weight and low cost. In this study, rectangle waveguide, E-type and H-type right angle and bend components are designed at X-Ku band and fabricated via 3D printing and a total of 20 +/-%10 mu m non-electrolytic and electrolytic copper plating is made on all surfaces. ABS thermoplastic as material and fused deposition modeling (FDM) technique as a method are used. Return losses and insertion losses of the proposed components are obtained as simulation and measurement and their performances are compared with commercial counterparts. CST Microwave Studio is used as a simulation program. When the results are examined, the E-type sharp bend component has the best performance over the other three components (H-type sharp bend, E-type bend and H-type bend) and the return loss and transmission loss values of that are -20 dB and -4 dB, respectively. Thanks to this method, passive microwave components are 80% cheaper and 90% lighter than commercial counterparts made from aluminum or brass.