Apr 18, 2016 | By Tess

With 3D printing on the rise, the technologies surrounding it have been steadily developing and evolving, making additive manufacturing more and more viable for a number of different purposes. Today, the development of 3D printing electronics, a bourgeoning field in itself, advances as well, as Nano Dimension, a leader in inkjet and nanoparticle printing, has announced that it has a filed a patent application for the simultaneous curing and sintering of two types of ink, conductive metal ink and insulator ink, which could be used in the additive manufacturing of electronic circuits.

The recent patent application, which was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, could mean big advancements in the field of 3D printed electronics, as it could both simplify and reduce the cost of the process. As Nano Dimension’s press release indicates, current methods of curing and sintering use a number of different systems and technologies, making the overall process a complex and demanding one. Their proposed system, by combining both sintering and curing into the same process, has the potential to greatly decrease these steps and complexities, allowing for reduced cost, faster printing speeds, system miniaturization, and even overall system reliability.

The method put forth by Nano Dimension Technologies in their patent application explains a novel way of using the unique chemical structures of both the conductive metal ink and the insulator ink, both developed in Nano Dimension’s labs, to make both sintering and curing possible on the same machine.

As the company explains, “Nanoparticles in the ink absorb radiant energy, causing a plasmonic effect on the surface of the nanoparticle. The plasmonic waves are immediately converted into heat, which causes the fusion of silver nanoparticles due to high surface energies at the nanoscale.” The end of the sintering process proposed by Nano Dimension would result in a uniform metallic trace.

From there, the photoinitiated insulating ink could absorb the radiation coming from Nano Dimension’s specialized 3D printer which would instantly solidify it, making an mechanically strong and highly thermal resistant insulator.

Nano Dimension Ltd., which has been developing advanced 3D printed electronic systems since 2012, also announced the filing of another patent application just weeks ago, for 3D printed shield conductors in printed circuit boards (PCBs). The company’s innovative work, which has consistently combined 3D inkjet, 3D software, and nanomaterials, includes the development of the first 3D printer system to be used for multi-layer PCBs, as well as the creation of nanotechnology based conductive and dialectric inks.

Of course, while the technology to both sinter and cure in the same process does not exist on the market yet, we can expect that Nano Dimension will keep developing the technology while the patent office addresses their file.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Company

 

 

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