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3-D Printed Plug and Play Prototyping for Low-cost Sub-THz Subsystems

  • Shin, S-H
  • Payapulli, R
  • Zhu, L
  • Stanley, M
  • Shang, X
  • Ridler, N
  • Lucyszyn, S
Publication Date
Apr 10, 2022
UPCommons. Portal del coneixement obert de la UPC
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Polymer-based additive manufacturing using 3-D printing for upper-millimeter-wave ( ca. 100 to 300 GHz) frequency applications is now emerging. Building on our previous work, with metal-pipe rectangular waveguides and free-space quasi-optical components, this paper brings the two media together at G-band (140 to 220 GHz), by demonstrating a compact multi-channel front-end subsystem. Here, the proof-of-concept demonstrator integrates eight different types of 3-D printed components (30 individual components in total). In addition, the housing for two test platforms and the subsystem are all 3-D printed as single pieces, to support plug and play development; offering effortless component assembly and alignment. We introduce bespoke free-space TRM calibration and measurement schemes with our quasi-optical test platforms. Equal power splitting plays a critical role in our multi-channel application. Here, we introduce a broadband 3-D printed quasi-optical beamsplitter for upper-millimeter-wave applications. Our quantitative and/or qualitative performance evaluations for individual components and the complete integrated subsystem, demonstrate the potential for using consumer-level desktop 3-D printing technologies at such high frequencies. This work opens-up new opportunities for low-cost, rapid prototyping and small-batch production of complete millimeter-wave front-end subsystems.

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