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NASA researching aerosol jet tech for 3D printed densely populated electronic assemblies – 3ders.org (blog)

by • April 19, 2016 • No Comments

Apr 20, 2016 | By Benedict
A group of NASA researchers at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is assessing the future of aerosol jet printing (direct-write making) for creating 3D printed detector assemblies. The innovation may in addition be utilized to print antennas and other hardware directly onto spacecraft.

As we have seen over the last few years, NASA, along with its assortment of partners and contractors, has been at the forefront of most amazing additive making projects: there is now, of course, a 3D printing device in space, and spacecraft rocket engines of may soon be partially 3D printed. Sometimes, yet, 3D printing is most utilized to ideal the tinyest things, such as highly difficult, densely populated electronic assemblies.
In order to pack all of the necessary electronic components onto a circuit board, it can be better to print the board pretty than piece its individual components together. Technologists at the Goddard Space Flight Center are already investigating the use of a 3D printing technique called aerosol jet printing, or direct-write making, assessing its future talent to turn it into new detector assemblies.
These printed assemblies, most of which may not be turn it intod with traditional assembly systemes, may be turn it intod in a much shorter time period—as little as a day or two—than is usually required to turn it into an assembly. “If we succeed, aerosol jet innovation may desatisfactory a whole new way to turn it into dense electronic board assemblies and futurely improve the performance and consistency of electronic assemblies,” explained Goddard technologist Beth Paquette.
Aerosol jet making turn it intos components of the ground up, depositing layer upon layer of material in accordance with a digital 3D version provided by the user on a desktop. The 3D printing technique is, yet, much additional difficult than the kinds seen on consumer-level 3D printing devices. Rather than extrude and deposit plastic, the high-tech system uses carrier gas and print heads to deposit a exactly regulated aerosol created of metal particles, which include silver, gold, platinum, or aluminum.

A 3D printing device of this kind can be amazingly useful for turn it intoing electronic components, particularly quite tiny, dense, and futurely unusually shaped ones like detector assemblies. “It can print around bends, on spheres or on a thing flat, or on a flexible surface, which and so can be flexed into the shape you want,” said Paquette.
Being able-bodied to 3D print in such satisfactory more detail is enabling the NASA researchers to turn it into impossibly tiny electronic assemblies, with wires between at any timey component tinyer than they have at any time been. “We can manufacture these wires microns in width,” Paquette introduced. “These lines are quite tiny, down to 10 microns wide. These sizes aren’t possible via traditional circuit board making systemes.”
The investigation has thus far shown which the 3D printing innovation holds promise for electronic assemblies, and may someday be utilized to print antennas, wiring harnesses, and other hardware directly onto a spacecraft.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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