specifications go to:
- Surface Mount
EMI/RFI shield clips
- Eliminates the need for
post reflow operations
- Allows easy shield
placement and removal
- Now available in
10 different sizes
PICK & PLACE READY BY DESIGN
Temperatures can be as low as 90ºC, compatible with most plastic
subtrates. The ink is also curable by laser or UV light at room temperature.
3D Printers Coming Down The Cost Curve
Traditional high-end multi-material 3D printers can run into hundreds of
thousands of dollars, but lower-cost (under $10,000) printers are starting to
make their appearance.
Nano-Dimensions’ Dragonfly 2020 3D PCB printer, for example, converts
standard Gerber files into fully-functional multi-layer PCB prototypes using
a desktop unit. The printer can print traces of 80-100 µm, blind and buried
vias, and interconnections of ~150 µm. The minimum layer thickness is 3
µm and the number of layers is limited only by the mechanical height z-axis.
The maximum size of the pcb is 20cm x 20cm; a complex 10-layer board can
take up to several hours to print.
The 3D assembly shown in figure 1 (a circuit based around the venerable
555 timer) is made by Voxel8, a spinoff from a Harvard materials science lab.
The device uses PLA and Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), a popular
technique in which the printer builds up an object by extruding multiple
layers of melted thermoplastic material which almost immediately hardens.
The 250 micron traces are laid down by a pneumatic direct-write system
that uses conductive silver ink with resistivity 5 x 10-7Ω-m and a curing
time of 5 minutes. The resulting circuit is multi-layer, with vias and pads for
surface-mount components. In the initial product, scheduled to be available
at the end of 2015, mounting the components is a separate operation which
can be done in situ, or by removing the build plate to give more room.
Even cheaper machines may be on the horizon, with the advent of a
new breed of printers capable of depositing electrically conductive and
insulating materials, the first step towards 3D printed electronics.
Many are being
developed by crowd-sourced startups:
funding such first-generation machines
have spent over $800k
on Kickstarter alone.
machines will drive
the hype, but next
aimed at professional
use will become the
markets over the next
decade by servicing
end users. ECN
Figure 1: RP electronic assembly made by 3D printing