Sustainable manufacturing practices have been an essential consideration in recent years. 3D printing will be a key technology in the transition towards sustainability because it minimizes material consumption and waste generation. One area that could benefit from 3D printing techniques would be the production of printed circuit boards and electronics in which most of the copper used is etched in subsequent steps. Comparatively, 3D printing minimizes waste by depositing conductive material only where desired. However, the conductive material used, commonly a silver-based printable material, is expensive and further reductions are required to ensure sustainability. In high frequency applications, owing to the skin effect, the core of a conductor carries little electrical current and thus could be replaced with a cheaper plastic. To accomplish this, custom nozzles capable of printing these sheath conductors were developed and tested by printing an embedded inductor for wireless power transfer.
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Thesis advisor: Kim, Woo Soo
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