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Additive Manufacturing Trends in Electronics

Manufacturing Trends in Electronics

The use of 3D printing technology to build devices with embedded electronics continues to evolve and adapt. Early on, special 3D printers injected dielectric inks making layers of a circuit on a physical surface.

The technology of 3D printed electronics is now divided between printers that inject inks, such as silver, to create a circuit on a build, and newer systems that print conductive or dielectric inks onto multiple layers to build a three-dimensional electronic printed circuit board (PCB). These new systems add polymer and conductive material layer-by-layer to create a 3D object with vias and holes which do not need to be drilled. These tools are now capable of 3D printing of electronics to create a finished electronic product from just a digital file.

As companies realize they need the capability to manufacture PCBs or special electronics more efficiently (first driven by governmental tariffs, and then pandemic disruptions), 3D printing and additive technologies can provide a buffer manufacturing alternative between design, prototype, early manufacture and volume production of PCBs.

A key factor in additively manufactured electronics, is that the tool or system is comprehensive. The technology needs to be integrated with the software used for design. Having the right materials and process in place is also critically important for additive manufacturing. Temperature of the process and end product, and then the temperature the product has to maintain afterwards to keep its characteristics are also key factors.

Optima Technology Associates, Inc. is an ISO 9001:2008, ISO / TS 16949:2009 certified, customer service-oriented contract manufacturer of electronic assemblies. From concept to production, Optima is your one stop for printed circuit boards (PCBs), printed circuit assemblies (PCBAs), box or system builds, and engineering services. Located in Lewisberry, PA and New Delhi, India we specialize in providing local support coupled with cost-effective pricing via offshore manufacturing through our ISO approved facilities.