Ka-Band Characterization of Binder Jetting for 3-D Printing of Metallic Rectangular Waveguide Circuits and Antennas

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printing, copper, cavity resonators, conductivity, rectangular waveguides, antennas

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The performance of additive manufactured (AM) RF circuits and antennas is continuously improving, and in some cases these AM components are comparable to state-of-the-art circuits made with traditional manufacturing techniques. Medium to high-power waveguides made with AM methods such as copper-plated plastics, selective laser melting (SLM), and copper additive manufacturing (3-D CAM) have shown good performance up to terahertz frequencies. In this paper, binder jetting (BJ) metal printing is characterized using electron beam microscopy [scanning electron microscopy (SEM)] and energy dispersive spectroscopy. The RF performance of the 3-D-printed circuits is benchmarked with Ka-band cavity resonators, waveguide sections, and a filter. An unloaded resonator Q of 616 is achieved, and the average attenuation of the WR-28 waveguide section is 4.3 dB/m. The BJ technology is tested with a meshed parabolic reflector antenna, where the illuminating horn, waveguide feed, and a filter are printed in a single piece. The antenna shows a peak gain of 24.56 dBi at 35 GHz.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, v. 65, issue 9, p. 3099-3108