Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering (M.S.E.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Arash Takshi, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Schlaf Rudy, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jing Wang, Ph.D.


Electrodeposition, Copper, Conductivity, Electronics, PLA


There are substantial advances in Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies. The simplest and advantageous technique of AM in terms of cost and scaling of the substrate is Fused Deposition Modeling(FDM). Currently, integration of electronics to a 3D printed structure is done manually after fabrication of the structure. To print electronic circuits directly on a 3D printed structure, copper electroplating process has been studied in this work.

To electroplate on the 3D printed insulating substrate, various materials were studied to make substrate conductive. By using conductive Polylactic Acid (PLA) filaments, a compatible substrate for electroplating was printed. Electroplating was proved to be advantageous in terms of uniform distribution as well as fast deposition rate when performed laterally. The conductive levels of the electrodeposited layers on 3D printed conductive substrates were studied at different voltages in different configurations.

Furthermore, the textures of the electroplated layer were studied using Scanning Electron Microscopy(SEM) method. The resistance of samples was measured using four-point probe resistance setup. The Morphology and roughness of the samples were studied by an optical profilometer system.

In addition, the adhesion strength of the electrodeposited copper on conductive PLA material was tested by a peel test using scotch tape. Thickness and conductivity calculations were performed for uniformly deposited samples. Further study is required for optimizing electroplating process to be used for in situ metallizations of a 3D printed structure.