Assistant professor of electrical engineering, Harish Subbaraman, and associate professor of materials science and engineering, Dave Estrada, were awarded a grant supplement of $37,169 from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This supplement augments the team’s 2018 NSF award of over $187,000 in order to research the fundamental science behind the working mechanism of a nozzle-free liquid-jetting system.
Liquid-jetting print systems normally use nozzles to deposit the liquid material onto the desired surface. However, nozzle clogging is a problem that negatively impacts the ability to print in high resolution, especially when the liquids contain particles or flakes, or when the nozzle requires a narrower jet stream.
The recent grant supplement will further the team’s goals to “Apply modern computer vision and reinforcement learning techniques to deepen our understanding of the printing process and develop approaches to minimize the variability of printing processes,” said Subbaraman.
“We will apply the knowledge gained to demonstrate process optimization on four print modalities we are currently using ink-jet, aerosol-jet, microdispense, and laser-generated focused ultrasound printing,” said Subbaraman.