Axial Flux Motor
A first design is finished, a complete explanation of the targeted functionality is included, and the targeted printer technology has been provided. This AME design also provides a model which is proven to fulfill the targeted functionality.
The axial flux motor is a brushless DC Motor realized in AME. In order to make it work properly, a suitable motor controller needs to be utilized. One potential brushless motor controller design is already available on the J.A.M.E.S platform, published by the J.A.M.E.S Team. Only a combination of both parts, motor and motor controller, will result in a fully functional motor. At the current status of the design, only the stator is available, while the rotating part is not finished yet. However, the realization of a motor functionality by using the third-dimensional freedom of an additively process shows already the new possibility of creating an axial flux motor without using a mechanical coil winding procedure of (e.g., copper wires). It is even possible to shape AME motor coils in the best functional formfactor.
Future Field of Application
In order to make the motor work, the design of the rotor needs to be finished. Since the NNDM DragonFly IV process's dielectric material is mechanically unstable, it might be suitable to design and manufacture the rotor part with different printing technology. Based on this, the rotor can be designed in such a way as to improve the motor’s strength while at the same time being as lightweight as possible. Furthermore, the performance can be improved even more by choosing a printing technology with magnetic material available for the rotor.
Since the motor needs a connection to the motor controller, the next step of the design could also consist of combining both designs in one print. This could influence the fact that additional wiring cables could be avoided, and therefore a smaller and lighter realization of both components would be possible.
Current Technology Limitations
A certain spacing between adjacent conductive lines is required to avoid shorts in the motor coils. However, to increase the magnetic field of the coils, the current density through the coils needs to be increased as well. One way to do this is to increase the number of coil windings. Since we do not want to increase the overall size of the motor, the only way this can be achieved is to reduce the required space between two lines. Therefore, increasing the resolution of the printer would directly improve the performance of the motor.
Furthermore, increasing the conductivity of the conductive material forming the lines would reduce the losses of the motor, thus making it more efficient and stronger. This would also allow getting more current through the motor coils without running into issues regarding the thermal stability of the used materials.
In addition to that, also the availability of magnetic material in the printing process would drastically affect the strength and the performance of the AME Motor.
Tutorials and Interactive Videos
Rotating 3D-Model of AME Axial Flux Motor
Tutorial: Design AME NFC Coils
Tutorial: Design AME Capacitors