NWC REU 2018
May 21 - July 31



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Assessing the Effectiveness of a Microwave as a UV Exposure Unit for 3D Printed Materials

Jashawn Ford


What is already known:

  • Antennas that can be used for weather measurements can cost $1000+ and take months to ship
  • 3D printing an antenna design followed by copper plating is much more time efficient and cost-effective
  • The time it takes to post cure the material using ultraviolet light varies with the devices used

What this study adds:

  • A consumer-grade microwave oven can be modified to produce ultraviolet rays
  • This inexpensive, ultraviolet post-curing device provides a set, repeatable process for the rapid fabrication of production antenna parts


3D printing antennas for weather measurements is a much more time efficient method than buying them. This project aims to make a quicker, more repeatable process for fast production antennas. Using a microwave oven, UV light strips, and adhesive mirror sheets, a low- cost alternative ultraviolet exposure unit was made. The construction process for the unit is detailed along with a comparison of the prototype work with a lab-grade exposure unit.

Full Paper [PDF]