Overview of micro-manufacturing

Qin, Yi (2015) Overview of micro-manufacturing. In: Micromanufacturing Engineering and Technology. Elsevier, Oxford, pp. 1-34. ISBN 9780323311496

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Abstract

The continuing trend of miniaturization of products, devices, and equipment has been a major driver to the development of micro- and nano-manufacturing technology. Compared to the development of 10 years ago, which saw micro-manufacturing research focused significantly on fundamental issues concerning the scaling down of conventional processes and equipment, recent development has been largely applications-driven. This overview initially looks at market needs and sector-driven applications, followed by examining the challenges to micro-manufacturing in order for it to be able to meet these needs/applications. This is then followed by reviewing the latest developments of the methods, processes, and equipment of micro-manufacturing and by examination of some of the associated issues such as design considerations, material factors, and technology utilization strategy, etc. It is found that during the last 10 years, the number of manufacturing processes investigated has increased significantly; manufacturing processes such as micro-machining, laser machining, micro-EDM, micro-electrochemical machining, hot embossing, micro-powder injection molding, photoelectroforming, etc., have been mature areas for application; significant research and technological development (RTD) effort has been shifted to the transforming of laboratory processes into items of production equipment; and the development has been targeting onto sector-specific applications. Considering that micro-manufacturing bridges between potential, high-impact nano-science and nano-technology and real-life, low-cost products, it will achieve further significant development over the next 10 years. In addition to the needs of significant effort in developing low-cost equipment, other aspects such as advanced tools and analysis, software as well as high-quality materials, handling, inspection, standardization, quality assurance, manufacturing cost, etc., need to be paid attention to.