Practical 3D Printing of Antennas and RF Electronics
- Magazine Article
Additive manufacturing can reduce the time and material costs in a design cycle and enable on-demand printing of customized parts. New multi-material 3D printers that can print both metal and dielectric materials enable the additive manufacturing of antennas and RF components. Developments in software are critical to leveraging this capability; good tools allow more effort to go towards creation than implementation.
Three devices are described in detail in this article to demonstrate the 3D printing of RF components. First, a Marchand balun is presented, demonstrating rapid prototyping of a complex, multilayer RF circuit. Next, a monopole array is shown with an integrated beam-steering network and radome to show rapid prototyping of a complete antenna system. Finally, a bowtie antenna with rounded corners is presented, showing good performance in the Kuband.