Sensor package fabrication via additive manufacturing for automotive sector – An introduction to the TINKER project

presentation by Leo Schranzhofer, Project Manager / Research Scientist, Profactor GmbH, at ONLINE 3D Printing Electronics Conference (21 January 2021, 15:00 – 19:00 CET). REGISTER HERE to attend the conference

This H2020 project, coordinated by Leo Schranzhofer, PROFACTOR, started at 01.10.2020. Notion Systems and PV nanocell are partners in the consortium and will be mentioned in the talk.

The vision of TINKER is to provide a new cost- and resource efficient pathway for RADAR and LIDAR sensor package fabrication with high throughput up to 250units/min, improved automation by 20%, improved accuracy by 50% and reliability by a factor of 100 to the European automotive and microelectronic industry via additive manufacturing and inline feedback control mechanisms.

Autonomous driving and self-driving cars represent one prominent example for the use of microelectronics and sensor, most importantly RADAR and LIDAR sensors. Their respective markets have a big potential, e.g. it is estimated that the market size of LIDAR in automotive will double itself in the next two years (within 2020 to 2022).

The public awareness and the industrial need for further miniaturization of such sensor packages is the main driver of ongoing efforts in the automotive sector to be able to integrate such devices into the car body like in the bumps and head lamps instead of attaching them (e.g. on top of the car in case of LIDAR device). Safety (for the driver and others) is the most important key aspect of the automotive sector. Therefore highly-value and high performance RADAR and LIDAR systems are required for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) as well as robotic cars.

Current bottlenecks are relevantly large size of such sensor devices, their weight and power consumption. Since these factors are highly limited within cars, further miniaturization and improving functionality and efficient use of resources is highly demanded.

Find more information about the project here:


PROFACTOR is an Austrian research company located in Steyr which focuses on developing new methods for integrated production technologies. The technological focus is on functional surfaces and nanostructures, robotics and machine vision. With around 80 employees PROFACTOR covers the whole range from basic research to applied research.

The department of ‘Functional Surfaces and Nanostructures’ (FON) is focusing its research on Additive Micro/Nano Fabrication (based on nanoimprinting and inkjet printing technology). The group is highly experienced and skilled in process and material development for inkjet printing of functional structures like 3D printed electronics, multi-material and multilayer printing, printing on freeform substrates (roboter based inkjet, digital tampon printing).

The group has also broad experience in the treatment of surfaces by plasma methods to improve the wettability of inks on different materials, and has extensive knowledge in developing curing strategies.