By: Ken Vartanian, Vice President of Marketing
In almost any electronics manufacturing factory you’ll find printers working hard on the production floor. They’ve been used for decades for many applications such as printing coatings to protect circuitry from oxidation or to prevent solder bridges from forming between closely spaced pads. Printers also are used commonly to apply markings on printed circuit boards to identify component locations for final assembly and troubleshooting. So why is there so much excitement about printed electronics when most companies have been using printers to manufacture electronic devices for years?
The answer may be the availability of new inks and printing methods that enable enhanced end product functionality at lower cost and with less environmental impact. Electronic circuits can now be printed using nanoparticle inks instead of traditional photolithographic processes involving caustic etching and plating processes. Silver, gold, copper, platinum and other conductive nanoparticle and polymer inks are readily available to meet a variety of application requirements.
New materials and deposition methods even enable printing functional electronic components such as resistors, capacitors, antennas, sensors, batteries, thin film transistors, fuel cells, and more. Printing these components and circuits also eliminates the requirement for mounting and soldering physical devices to a carrier board. The digital printing process eliminates the need for physical masks and tooling which reduces time to market and lowers the cost for design revisions.
With new printing methods these electronic components even can be printed onto or into 3D structures such as a plastic cell phone case thereby eliminating the need for a separate circuit board. These advanced printing capabilities open up new packaging opportunities for lighter, thinner electronic devices with increased functionality.
What to learn more?
Click the link here to read more about 3D Printed Electronics or contact us at 505-761-8250 press 4