Electroforming Process and Application to Micro/Macro Manufacturing

University of Edinburgh, School of Mechanical Engineering, Edinburgh, UK
CIRP Annals - Manufacturing Technology (Impact Factor: 2.54). 01/2001; DOI: 10.1016/S0007-8506(07)62990-4

ABSTRACT Electroforming is the highly specialised use of electrodeposition for the manufacture of metal parts. This paper describes the process principles and mechanisms of electroforming, outlining its advantages and limitations. A review of modelling and simulation of electroforming and experimental analysis work is also presented. The metals that can be electroformed successfully are copper, nickel, iron or silver, thickness up to 16 mm, dimensional tolerances up to 1 μm, and surface finishes of 0.05 μm Ra. The ability to manufacture complex parts to close tolerances and cost effectively has meant that electroforming has applications both in traditional/macro manufacturing and new micromanufacturing fields. These include tooling; mould making; fabrication of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and the combination of lithography, electroforming and plastic moulding in the LIGA process. Applications in micro-optics and medicine are included.

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