Modeling and Design of Material Inkjet Printer Ultraviolet LED Curing Cartridges Using COMSOL Multiphysics® for Printed Electronics Applications

M. Guvench[1], R. Wiswell[1]
[1]University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME, USA

COMSOL Multiphysics® coupled with Solidworks® is employed to design, simulate and fabricate cartridges for a materials printer to accomplish in-situ curing of UV curable ink patterns as they are printed on flexible media for printed electronic circuit manufacturing. The cartridges designed house a ultra-violet high-power light-emitting diode (LED) to expose and cure the ink as it is being printed. COMSOL was used to model the temperature profile of the cartridge under different cooling mechanisms, passive convection or forced air, to create a design which would allow excess heat to be dissipated from the LED with minimal rise in its temperature, the most critical design parameter determining the ultimate longevity of the LED as well as its efficient operation as a UV emitter. Quick coupling of the 3D CAD output with the heat transfer simulations of COMSOL facilitated choices to be made in geometry as well as the cooling method, natural convection vs. forced air cooling.