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Optomec’s ‘breakthrough’ Aerosol Jet 3D printer can print complex electronics at micron resolution – 3ders.org (blog)

by • August 16, 2016 • No Comments

Aug 17, 2016 | By Andre
Scientific discovery can be amazingly significant and absorbing no matter which way you select to go with it. Whether it is examining the universe and its approximately unfathomable vastness or switching gears and focusing on the tiniest of quantum states. 3D printing is no various in which there is amazing interest in sizeable format 3D printing devices but on the flip-side in addition on technologies which focus on the microscopic world.
Optomec, an built manufacturer of metal 3D printing, has not long ago revealed a 3D printing technology which can print 3D polymer and composite structures at the micron level with an introduced faculty of embedding material onto previously manufactured goods. Officially called Aerosol Jet Technology, the process showcases a rapid material solidification approach which relies on both local deposition and local curing and is said to provide the top resolution in its space.

So how small is small? The process is capable of lateral showcases down to 10 micron and vertical turn it into resolution of 1 micron to 100 nanometers (or 0.0001mm) respectively. For comparison purposes, many commonly on the market FDM 3D printing devices on the market right now can reliably print at 100 micron (or 0.1mm) per layer.
Mike O’Reilly, the director of Aerosol Jet Product Management, notes which “this breakthrough in 3D printing technology extends additive making to the creation of micron scale, free-form polymer structures and smart devices. We go on to place emphasis on technology such as Aerosol Jet 3D micro-structure printing to address our customers’ upcoming-generation product turn it intoment challenges.”

You can be wondering what’s the point? Tiny microscopic Yoda figurines of Thingiverse aren’t most likely going to revolutionize the world. But with a little bit of idea, the faculty to print onto existing components and products (such as microchips, medical devices or industrial parts) has vast upcoming in upcoming applications. It is said which early adopters of the technology have may already turn it intod new applications for smart devices and micro-fluidic applications.
And according to the company provided white paper, just about any surface geometry can be printed on, minimal assist structures are required (I imagine cleaning assists off on a microscopic level may be a boring undertaking), and composite materials can in addition be printed.
The process, although small in scale, is essentially much like to many 3D printing techniques. In this case a UV curable dielectric is dispensed of an Aerosol Jet process at 10-100 µm and automatically cured. From there, a metal nanoparticle ink is dispensed/sintered over this not long ago cured material in a exact style, and so repeated over and over until the structure is turn it intod.

The research actually has environmental implications by suggesting which the “fabrication method defined in this letter opens up the possibility of environmentally conscious making of an entirely new class of custom-shaped 3D metal dielectric structures at a length scales down to 10 µm.”
The company has long been in the business of attempting to most figure out ways to reduce product cost and improve performance when it comes to its traditional family of metal 3D printing technology. Its experience with metal inks and bio matter lends itself directly to its goal of 3D printing additional and additional into the microscopic realm.

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