A lot of potential for 3D printed electronics in the automotive field

3D printing is affecting the way engineers design in the automotive industry. The technology is already used in the industry, currently mostly for plastic and metal spare parts. Additive manufacturing has opened the door for newer designs, safer products, shorter lead times and lower costs. Moreover, it will be an enabler for the automotive industry to adapt towards the new smart mobility requirements.

Continue reading “A lot of potential for 3D printed electronics in the automotive field”

Researchers 3D print all-liquid material that could be used to construct liquid electronics (video)

liquid electronics

Researchers 3D print all-liquid material that could be used to construct liquid electronics (video)

Scientists from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a way to print 3-D structures composed entirely of liquids. Using a modified 3-D printer, they injected threads of water into silicone oil — sculpting tubes made of one liquid within another liquid.

They envision their all-liquid material could be used to construct liquid electronics that power flexible, stretchable devices. The scientists also foresee chemically tuning the tubes and flowing molecules through them, leading to new ways to separate molecules or precisely deliver nanoscale building blocks to under-construction compounds. Continue reading “Researchers 3D print all-liquid material that could be used to construct liquid electronics (video)”

Highly conductive 3D printable gallium alloy shows promise for flexible electronics

3D printable gallium alloy

Researchers in Oregon State University’s College of Engineering have taken a key step toward the rapid manufacture of flexible computer screens and other stretchable electronic devices, including soft robots.

The advance by a team within the college’s Collaborative Robotics and Intelligent Systems Institute paves the way toward the 3D printing of tall, complicated structures with a highly conductive gallium alloy.

Researchers put nickel nanoparticles into the liquid metal, galinstan, to thicken it into a paste with a consistency suitable for additive manufacturing.

“The runny alloy was impossible to layer into tall structures,” said Yiğit Mengüç, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and co-corresponding author on the study. “With the paste-like texture, it can be layered while maintaining its capacity to flow, and to stretch inside of rubber tubes. We demonstrated the potential of our discovery by 3D printing a very stretchy two-layered circuit whose layers weave in and out of each other without touching.”

Findings were recently published in Advanced Materials Technologies. Continue reading “Highly conductive 3D printable gallium alloy shows promise for flexible electronics”

NanoDimension launches 3D printing electronics online service on-demand (Video)

NanoDimension

Multimaterial 3D printing is exemplified no better than in the area of 3D printed electronics. The ability to create printed circuit boards (PCBs) on demand has the potential to transform localized electronics production and prototyping from the the armed forces to consumer goods, and every industry in-between.

To meet a growing demand for rapid electronics production, Israeli inkjet printing and material development company Nano Dimension (TLV:NNDM) has launched what it terms “the world’s first 3D printed electronics online service.”

Circuitry to speed the product life-cycle
Nano Dimension’s proprietary DragonFly 2020 and DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D printers are installed at over 15 different locations, including Jabil, FATHOM, U.S. electronics company PHYTEC and anonymous users in defence, medicine and transportation. However, this is the first time that Nano Dimension will be directly offering PCB 3D printing as an on-demand service. Continue reading “NanoDimension launches 3D printing electronics online service on-demand (Video)”

New Hybrid 3D Printing of Soft Electronics developed by Harvard Researchers (Video)

3D Printing Soft Electronics

New Hybrid 3D Printing of Soft Electronics developed by Harvard Researchers

Human skin must flex and stretch to accommodate the body’s every move. Anything worn tight on the body must also be able to flex around muscles and joints, which helps explain why synthetic fabrics like spandex are popular in activewear. Wearable electronic devices that aim to track and measure the body’s movements must possess similar properties, yet integrating rigid electrical components on or within skin-mimicking matrix materials has proven to be challenging. Such components cannot stretch and dissipate forces like soft materials can, and this mismatch in flexibility concentrates stress at the junction between the hard and soft elements, frequently causing wearable devices to fail. Continue reading “New Hybrid 3D Printing of Soft Electronics developed by Harvard Researchers (Video)”

Fraunhofer ILT’s LaserTAB Combines Welding, 3D Printing and Robotics

Fraunhofer ILT’s LaserTAB

Fraunhofer ILT’s LaserTAB Combines Welding, 3D Printing and Robotics

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed itself. In focus is a new light-weight robot (LBR is German for lightweight robot) developed by Kuka Roboter GmbH from Augsburg. According to company statements, not only is the LBR iiwa, or “intelligent industrial work assistant (iiwa)”, the first sensitive robot to be manufactured in series, but it also helps man and robot work closely together. Continue reading “Fraunhofer ILT’s LaserTAB Combines Welding, 3D Printing and Robotics”

Spotlight on 3D printed electronics niche market

niche market

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. Continue reading “Spotlight on 3D printed electronics niche market”

We need to understand at microscopic level what is happening during the printing process – Interview with 3D Printing Electronics Conference speaker Wijnand Germs

Wijnand Germs

We need to understand at microscopic level what is happening during the printing process – Interview with 3D Printing Electronics Conference speaker Wijnand Germs

As Project Manager with the Dutch research institute TNO Wijnand Germs specializes in the integration of electronics in 3D printing, also called ‘structural electronics’. He and his colleagues are developing a 3D printer that will eventually be able to manufacture high-quality products with the electronics already in place. That’s a major step forward from the current 3D printers, which are mainly used for prototyping. Continue reading “We need to understand at microscopic level what is happening during the printing process – Interview with 3D Printing Electronics Conference speaker Wijnand Germs”

3D Printing Electronics on a Sticker (Video)

Printing Electronics

3D Printing Electronics on a Sticker– the application of printing technologies for the fabrication of electronic circuits and devices, increasingly on flexible plastic or paper substrates – have been around for a while. Printed electronics has its origins in conductive patterns printed as part of conventional electronics, forming flexible keyboards, antennas and so on. Then came fully printed testers on batteries, electronic skin patches and other devices made entirely by printing, including batteries and displays Continue reading “3D Printing Electronics on a Sticker (Video)”

Researchers develop magnetic ink that allows self-healing 3D printed electronics (Video)

magnetic ink

Researchers develop magnetic ink that allows self-healing 3D printed electronics. A team of engineers at the University of California San Diego has developed a magnetic ink that can be used to make self-healing batteries, electrochemical sensors and wearable, textile-based electrical circuits. Continue reading “Researchers develop magnetic ink that allows self-healing 3D printed electronics (Video)”