Nano Dimension Ltd. has unveiled the world’s first desktop-sized 3D printer, DragonFly 2020, designed specifically to produce professional multilayer printed circuit boards (PCBs).
The printer being demonstrated at Printed Electronics USA 2015, will enable users to build functional, multilayer circuit board prototypes in-house within a matter of hours.
The capability of rapidly producing functional multilayer PCB prototypes using 3D printing is new to the printed electronics design and manufacturing industry. The current standard subtractive manufacturing of PCBs is a multi-stage, labor- and material-intensive process. The cost and time involved in the process has forced electronics designers requiring prototypes to resort to outsourcing.
The DragonFly 2020 3D Printer can print a complete multilayer PCB, including all interconnections between layers, using its revolutionary inkjet printer and highly conductive nano-inks. Its sophisticated proprietary software accepts industry standard Gerber design files and manages the precise print process.
Furthermore, the novel three-axis inkjet printer enables users to test a range of designs on- the-fly and also explore new circuit geometries.
Security of IP is another attribute of the printer. In other words, sensitive design information stays in-house. Also, DragonFly minimizes costs and enables inexpensive evaluation of design alternatives and creative ideas. It is a greener alternative to standard PCB production since it is a cleaner process with no waste.
“For designers and engineers looking for ultra-rapid prototyping of PCBs, our 3D printer is a significant leap forward. The DragonFly 3D Printer eliminates the frustration they face when they reach the prototyping and testing stage,” said Simon Fried, Chief Marketing Officer at Nano Dimension. “Moving their work from design to a prototype at an off-site printing facility might take weeks for the PCB to be ordered, produced and shipped. If further iterations are needed, it’s back to the prototyping house for another cycle.
At Printed Electronics USA, Nano Dimension is also exhibiting its AgCite line of conductive silver nanoparticle inks for inkjet deposition and 3D printed PCB prototype samples. In addition, Nano Dimension’s CMO Simon Fried will give a presentation on “What happens when 3D printing and conductive inks converge?”
The DragonFly 2020 3D Printer is targeted for commercial availability during the second half of 2016.
Image courtesy of Yoram Reshef. Video credits: Nano Dimension