Manufacturing Guidelines for W-Band Full-Metal Waveguide Devices: Selecting the Most Appropriate Technology


This article analyzes some of the key aspects of manufacturing techniques for passive components and antennas in the millimeter band, with emphasis on the W band. Even experienced microwave designers might face great technological challenges when upscaling their designs to higher-frequency bands. Thus, several manufacturing technologies are widely analyzed in this work by designing, manufacturing, and measuring different components in the W band. Subtractive manufacturing techniques, such as computer numerical control (CNC) milling and electrical discharge machining (EDM), as well as additive manufacturing techniques, including stereolithography (SLA), direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), and diffusion bonding (DB) are explored. The advantages and disadvantages of these technologies are evaluated using features such as manufacturing tolerances, accuracy, surface roughness, and cost. The purpose is to offer some guidelines for the selection of the most appropriate manufacturing technology in the W band, bearing in mind both the performance of the different manufacturing methods and the particular circuital topologies of the component under development.

IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine
Lucas Polo-López
Lucas Polo-López
Research engineer

My research interests include computational electromagnetics, fully-metallic antenna arrays and additive manufacturing.