Jul 3, 2017 | By Benedict

German 3D printed electronics specialist Neotech AMT has announced two new projects: Hyb-Man, an 11-member German-Dutch project for developing hybrid 3D manufacturing methods for smart systems, and AMPECS, a German-Spanish project aiming to create ceramic substrates for 3D printed electronics.

Staff at Nuremberg’s Neotech AMT have probably been told to forget their summer holidays, with the 3D printed electronics specialist currently enrolled on two major collaborative projects dealing with smart systems and ceramics. The company says the two projects will “expand on the capabilities for fully additive 3D printed electronics” by combining Neotech’s electronics processes with a wider variety of physical 3D printing processes.

“Neotech has been pioneering the development of 3D printed electronics and our patented technology has a proven industrial track record,” said Dr. Martin Hedges, Managing Director of Neotech. “We have been working on combining 3D printed electronics with classical 3D printing of mechanical structures, and these new projects will accelerate the development.”

The first of these two projects, “Hyb-Man,” brings together 11 partners from Germany and the Netherlands for the development of hybrid 3D manufacturing methods for the “flexible, first-time-right production” of smart systems. The project is part of PENTA, a European engineering cluster formed by intergovernmental network EUREKA.

According to Neotech, Hyb-Man will explore the 3D printing of polymers in combination with 3D printed electronics. In-line testing and quality monitoring processes will be integrated into the process chain, ideally resulting in three outcomes: improved additive manufacturing processes, a “hybrid manufacturing production cell,” and “prototypes of integrated electrical products made using the hybrid manufacturing cell.”

The second of Neotech’s current projects, “AMPECS,” is being funded by the EU Manunet Program, bringing together German and Spanish companies to develop a “fully additive” manufacturing process for 3D printing electronics that uses ceramic substrates.

The AMPECS consortium will develop 3D printable ceramic materials that can be used to create a structural body into which printed electronics can be integrated. “End-use applications will cover areas where harsh environments exists, such as automotive and aerospace, as well as in mobile communications,” Neotech says.

Neotech has been developing systems for the mass production of 3D printed electronics since 2009, with its first mass-production program running since mid-2015. The German printing specialist says that, by printing structural components in printed plastics and ceramics, its two new mutually supporting projects will help “drive the adoption of fully additive [3D printed electronics] technology.”

“The ability to use fully additive manufacture to create complete 3D mechatronic systems enables many novel applications across diverse industries,” Hedges added. “The resultant process lines will address the needs for low-volume agile manufacture within a single platform. Furthermore, the parallel processing of four parts simultaneously will allow AM to scale to higher volume manufacturing than is currently possible, closing the scalability gap on traditional tool-based manufacturing methods.”



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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