Mechanical vibration isolation is an important element for many traditional MEMS devices, (e.g., MEMS inertial sensors and micro-optics) that are deployed in harsh environments (e.g., aerospace applications or automotive applications). Without suitable vibration isolation, environmental vibrations can potentially damage these devices. Micro-scale mechanical vibration isolators usually consist of a center proof mass pad, a suspension system, and a surrounding frame. The isolator functions as a mechanical low-pass filter that provides useful attenuation of high frequency environmental vibrations between the frame and the proof mass pad, to which the vibration sensitive device is attached. These vibration isolators are usually fabricated with either laser processing or silicon micromachining techniques. Although these traditional techniques produce high quality vibration isolators, these methods take time to develop for specific sensor applications, and the batch size is typically large. This paper has two key highlights. First, the efficacy of 3D printing as a prototyping tool for small batch MEMS sensor vibration isolation applications is considered. Twenty-five mechanical vibration isolators were tested for this investigation, using both SLA and FDM printers. The resulting test data demonstrated that the MEMS-scale 3D printed mechanical vibration isolators can be a valid option for real-world vibration isolation applications. Second, it is unclear whether the bulk material properties are valid for MEMS-scale 3D printed structures, since these bulk material properties are typically calculated using tensile tests on macro-scale dog-bone specimens. Considerable variation in vibratory system parameters was found, even when the same printer, print orientation, material, and post-processing were used.

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