Feb 27, 2018 | By Benedict

Optomec, an additive manufacturing company based in New Mexico, has unveiled the Aerosol Jet HD System 3D printer, a configurable production platform that can 3D print a wide range of electronics materials with features as small as 20 microns. It has also partnered with HUSUN Technologies.

In this day and age, people want their electronic devices smaller and smaller, whether it’s a smart watch, a medical device, or a discreet radio emitter for a soldier.

But it’s not just those in the business of circuitry who are being challenged by this demand: yes, making the actual electronics smaller is a big challenge, but miniaturizing the enclosures—the plastic or metal shells that house those shrunken electronic components—is no mean feat either.

Optomec, an Albuquerque-based manufacturer of additive manufacturing systems, thinks the future of electronics packaging could well be 3D printed. To this end, it has just unveiled its brand-new Aerosol Jet HD System 3D printer, a machine capable of 3D printing high-density electronic components with features as small as 20 microns.

With this 3D printer, manufacturers of electronics packaging can purportedly keep up with the biggest (or should we say tiniest) demands of modern electronics production.

The new professional 3D printer is based on Optomec's patented Aerosol Jet technology, a fine-feature material deposition solution used to 3D print functional electronic circuitry and components onto low-temperature, non-planar substrates. The technology does not require masks, screens, or subtractive post-processing.

Using in-line automation, the  Aerosol Jet HD System 3D printer can handle a variety of substrate sizes and compositions for high-resolution printed electronics, with applications including 3D interconnects, conformal RF/EMI shielding, and precision micro-dispense of insulators and adhesives.

It sounds like a versatile machine, and Optomec says its 3D printer can be incorporated into “almost any” existing manufacturing environment to fill production gaps, while its tool path generation software can be integrated into a standard dispense automation platform.

The 3D printer also comes with “production-ready recipes” for a range of conductive, dielectric, adhesive, and other materials.

“The demand for miniaturization of electronic systems, especially in mobile device, medical, and mil-aero applications, has exposed a technology gap in advanced electronics packaging that current dispense solutions cannot address,” said Dave Ramahi, CEO of Optomec.

“With this announcement, Optomec offers a practical, seamless and cost-effective solution that can deliver an order of magnitude improvement in dispense resolution, addressing the advanced packaging needs of today and providing a pathway far into the future.”

Optomec’s Aerosol Jet HD platform is available for under $150,000, with shipment scheduled for late Q2 this year.

In other Optomec news, the company has also signed a partnership agreement with HUSUN Technologies to resell Optomec LENS Systems for 3D printed metals in China.

Optomec’s LENS systems for 3D printed metals use the energy from a high-power laser to build up structures one layer at a time directly from powder metal feedstock. The process can build new metal parts or add material to existing metal components, enabling more additive applications such as repair, surface coatings, and hybrid manufacturing.

HUSUN Technology Group, founded in 2011, says it sees “a large market opportunity for metal additive manufacturing technology in the region.”



Posted in 3D Printer



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