Quantifying discretization errors in electrophoretically-guided micro additive manufacturing

David Pritchet*, Newell Moser, Kornel Ehmann, Jian Cao, Jiaxing Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper presents process models for a new micro additive manufacturing process termed Electrophoretically-guided Micro Additive Manufacturing (EPμAM). In EPμAM, a planar microelectrode array generates the electric potential distributions which cause colloidal particles to agglomerate and deposit in desired regions. The discrete microelectrode array nature and the used pulse width modulation (PWM) technique for microelectrode actuation create unavoidable process errors-space and time discretization errors-that distort particle trajectories. To combat this, we developed finite element method (FEM) models to study trajectory deviations due to these errors. Mean square displacement (MSD) analysis of the computed particle trajectories is used to compare these deviations for several electrode geometries. The two top-performing electrode geometries evaluated by MSD were additionally investigated through separate case studies via geometry variation and MSD recomputation. Furthermore, separate time-discretization error simulations are also studied where electrode actuating waveforms were simulated. The mechanical impulse of the electromechanical force, generated from these waveforms is used as the basis for comparison. The obtained results show a moderate MSDs variability and significant differences in the computed mechanical impulses for the actuating waveforms. The observed limitations of the developed process model and of the error comparison technique are briefly discussed and future steps are recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number447
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2018


  • Control design
  • Design methodology
  • Dielectrophoresis
  • Electrophoretic deposition
  • Error analysis
  • Finite element analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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