Leading additive electronics provider, Nano Dimension, has innovated a new and unique method of using 3D printing to manufacture circuit boards. Its new system will improve the capabilities of current circuit boards, allowing them to be smaller, enabling their use in miniature devices, made in shorter time frames.
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A World-first Achievement
The company, based in Ness Ziona, Israel, has established a novel new side-mounting technology for printed circuit boards using additive manufacturing. The circuit boards they created have increased functionality, which its makers hope will lend it to applications within the rapidly growing markets of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0.
In a world-first, Nano Dimension used its additive manufacturing system, known as DragonFly, to produce and connect 3D printed capacitors for its circuit boards. The company has reported that it assessed the new 3D printed capacitors in over 260 tests, which showed that there was just a 1% variance between components.
More Space and Reduced Production Time
The company describes how the circuit board components are both printed and soldered on all surfaces of the boards, using the DragonFly Pro 3D printing system. The outcome is a circuit board that has 50% more board space compared with conventional circuit boards.
As well as increasing board space, it is advantageous over traditional production methods as it allows for the capacitors to be embedded within the layers of the circuit boards. Meaning that production time is reduced as assembly time is unnecessary. It also means that circuit boards can be made smaller, allowing for miniaturization of electronics.
Supporting Next-generation Electronics
The benefits that Nano Dimension have conceived will support the next generation of electronics being developed in the coming years. The IoT is demanding the capability to create new electronic devices that are more customized. They need systems that support the manufacture of products in unconventional shapes and sizes, allowing the industry to create original and innovative products for new applications.
The 3D printed circuit boards could generate further functionality from the sides of the boards and can also be connected with multiple circuit boards, increasing design possibilities and applications.
Side mounting also creates the possibility of building specially designed 3D printed circuit boards that can plug into a socket mounted on a motherboard. This allows users to customize their applications with speed, based on the generic motherboard.
Future innovative IoT applications are believed to be the main area that will benefit from this technology, but other applications such as non-standard packaging and modular antennas also could utilize it.
Future Growth for Nano Dimension
This innovation from Nano Dimension is predicted to boost revenue for the company that suffered a huge fall in shares after its peak in 2016. Currently, the company is experiencing a steep growth in sales by tapping into these new sectors. Its $250,000 price tag printers have already impacted the market, helping the company’s revenue to increase to $5.1 million in 2018. It is predicted that endeavors such as its 3D printed circuit boards will continue to be a focus in the coming years, as the company targets the sectors of the IoT and Industry 4.0. Further innovations are expected from the company, helping major players in this industry realize their design and application goals without limits.