Multifunctional Polymer-Metal Lattice Composites via Hybrid Additive Manufacturing Technology

Liu He, Peiren Wang, Lizhe Wang, Min Chen, Haiyun Liu, Ji Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


With increasing interest in the rapid development of lattice structures, hybrid additive manufacturing (HAM) technology has become a competent alternative to traditional solutions such as water jet cutting and investment casting. Herein, a HAM technology that combines vat photopolymerization (VPP) and electroless/electroplating processes is developed for the fabrication of multifunctional polymer-metal lattice composites. A VPP 3D printing process is used to deliver complex lattice frameworks, and afterward, electroless plating is employed to deposit a thin layer of nickel-phosphorus (Ni-P) conductive seed layer. With the subsequent electroplating process, the thickness of the copper layer can reach 40 μm within 1 h and the resistivity is around (Formula presented.), which is quite close to pure copper ((Formula presented.)). The thick metal shell can largely enhance the mechanical performance of lattice structures, including structural strength, ductility, and stiffness, and meanwhile provide current supply capability for electrical applications. With this technology, the frame arms of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are developed to demonstrate the application potential of this HAM technology for fabricating multifunctional polymer-metal lattice composites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2191
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • additive manufacturing
  • electroless plating
  • electroplating
  • lattice composite
  • multifunctional


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