Spotlight on 3D printed electronics niche market
A pair of glasses which automatically turns to a darker shade when it sees too much of the sun, or one that sounds the alarm when the person wearing is in danger of falling asleep while driving. The 3d Printing Electronics Conference at High Tech Campus Eindhoven past Tuesday shed some interesting light on the developments and possibillities of 3d-printing.
The lenses are just one example out of a broad spectrum of innovations which are ready to be used thanks to 3d-printing. It is however, a rare one. The 3d-printed goggles –made at High Tech Campus Eindhoven– are a clear example of an innovation that is ready to go to market any time soon.
Most innovations seem abstract at first. This has to do with the technique still being very young. The market that its operating in, still is a niche. Which is exactly the reason why 3d Printing Electronics Conference took place on Tuesday, even though it is the fourth edition of the conference.
Pieter Hermans, responsible for organizing the event on behalf of Jakajima BV, underlines the goal of the conference. “We want parties to connect, in an area where it can be hard to find a good match.” 3d-printing being a highly technical field, can be an area where this is the case. “We offer a podium on which we put the spotlight on this niche market.”
That light is still needed, like it is in every innovation. “The printing is slowly evolving to a grown-up market and industry”, Hermans says. “Integrating 3d-printing in the production process is something that is bound to happen. We are just not sure how far away that landmark is.”
In fact, no one seems sure. This became clear in the chance meetings that happened in between the presentations and talks. This seems due to the fact that the final steps of developing a new technique are just as hard -if not harder- than the first steps which lead to inventing a new way of working.