Jan 30, 2017 | By Benedict

Printed circuit board (PCB) 3D printer manufacturer Nano Dimension has announced a successful proof of concept for a new inkjet PCB 3D printing method. The method improves PCB reliability, eliminates soldering, and supports the creation of thinner, better protected PCBs.

With the Dragonfly 2020, Israeli 3D printing company Nano Dimension already has one of the most unique and marketable machines in the industry: a 3D printer capable of fabricating multi-layer printed circuit boards using dedicated nano-inks. However, a new development suggests that the company’s 3D printing capabilities may soon be even greater. Nano Dimension today announced that it has successfully 3D printed electrical circuits with embedded electrical components using a new inkjet printing method.

This new development could prove significant for many reasons. Where the Dragonfly 2020 (as we currently know it) is able to 3D print multi-layer circuit boards, the new method, which allows the user to embed electrical components (by fitting them in place during the printing process), permits the creation of more complex electronic systems on the 3D printer. Excitingly, the company says that this new feature will be integrated into future Nano Dimension 3D printers.

3D printer company Nano Dimension outlined three key ways in which the new embedded component method could be beneficial for users. For starters, it would purportedly improve PCB reliability “by maintaining the electronic components internally and keeping them from being exposed to the external environment, while protecting them from mechanical, temperature, and corrosion damages.”

A second advantage of the new 3D printing process concerns both the quality of the printed item and the ease with which it can be made: since components can be embedded within the printed board during printing, no soldering is required. The connectivity between components is supplied by Nano Dimension’s electrically conductive nano-inks.

The final advantage offered by the new PCB 3D printing method is that it “enables printing on electronics components without their complete packaging (printing directly on the dye), and consequently supports the creation of thinner, more protected PCBs.”

Nano Dimension says it has filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its latest technology. When it is ready for production, the new 3D printing method could be beneficial for customers in sectors such as defense, space, consumer products, telecommunications, and more.

Nano Dimension has enjoyed a busy start to 2017, announcing on January 12 that it had successfully 3D printed curved, bendable circuit boards that could be used in IoT products, while also finding the time to exhibit its technology at SOLIDWORKS WORLD 2017 in Los Angeles and IPC APEX EXPO 2017 in San Diego.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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