Hidden Gems: Examining non-obvious opportunities in 3D Printing of Electronics

by Bill Buel, Vice President, Hardware, Origin, USA

3D Printed Electronics will ultimately enable and drive the merging of mechanical and electrical disciplines. Just as desktop 3D printers combined with the many peripheral software components empowers everyday, non-engineers to modify their world to their liking, and realize their innate creativity without formal engineering training, 3D printed electronics will not only open the doors, but will completely remove the roof and enable one of the most impactful forms of creativity and innovation that the world has ever seen.

Companies that are able to visualize the future in this context will have a lucrative foothold in what’s to come. In this presentation, we will examine some of these opportunities and reveal ways in which we can re-think some of our current strategies in the exciting, emerging industry of 3D Printed Electronics.

program: https://www.3dprintingelectronicsconference.com/program/

Interview

What drives you?
Commercializing new ideas: Producing something new in a lab, built and controlled by scientists and engineers can sometimes reach many roadblocks when we try to turn an idea into a product. I’m constantly driven by this challenge – to find the right product at the right price to suit the right market at the right time. Sometimes this means that we have to shelve some of the ‘coolest’ and innovative aspects of a technology until an economy of scale can be developed. Placing multiple, short and achievable stepping stones to get from point A to point Z throughout product/market evolution can allow us to realize early, and continually lucrative opportunities along the way. However, future accelerations can be achieved by not reacting linearly in our efforts, but instead to begin building bridges that we will inevitably have to cross.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
3D printing of electronics has not yet found an obvious path to mass productization. We will examine a few scenarios, which will be worth considering. Some of these scenarios will require that we completely re-think our approach, if we are brave enough to do so! In doing so, we may be able to identify and get a head start developing some of the most lucrative future opportunities.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
In the short term, developing advanced features which are only possible through 3D printing of electronics, regardless of industry adoption or market size, will have the greatest potential. We are essentially in the “concept car” phase of the technology. These concepts are what will excite investment and fuel research.In the long term, the winners will be those technologies which can economically scale across multiple industries and begin to replace traditional methods – not just because they are lower risk, and quicker means to market, but because they offer something that previously never existed. These winners will have asked “what will be of extreme value to the industry when that time comes?” and have planted seeds early.

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
Enormous impact – to the point where traditional methods seem almost archaic.

What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
There are several major barriers, which we will examine in the presentation. Along with Market adoption, These include, Equipment, Software, Education and Training.

“Special quote”
3D printed electronics is the critical piece of the puzzle to propel the discipline of Product Design and Engineering from being a “thing” that trained specialists DO to a “device” that novices USE.