Nano Dimension reveals potential for 3D printing PCB prototypes

Nano Dimension is a 3D printed electronics company and has recently been in news of 3D printing technology. Reason being that they have filled many patents for potentially disruptive technologies, including the patent for creation of 3D printed shield conductors in printed circuits boards (PCSs). Simultaneously it also sinters and cures two types of in for 3D printed electronics that could ease the manufacturing of electronic circuit boards. Nano Dimension, the Israeli based company released the results of the survey conducted by them that revealed the benefits of 3D printing can offer companies for the prototyping of PCBs. Nano Dimension Ltd. has always been at the front in the 3D printed electronics, combining 3D inkjet, 3D software and nano materials in its innovative products since it was established in 2012.

The survey was named the “Printer Readiness Survey” questioned about 300 electronic manufacturing companies around the globe of their experience while manufacturing printed circuit board prototypes. The research after the survey implied that many of the companies engaged to get these services form outside to create these prototypes. For this external series not only did the company invest a huge amount on it but at the same time it took too much time for the production. Eg: out of the 300 companies, 16% of them have spent more than $100,000 a year on PCB prototypes, 17% spent between $50,000 and $100,000, 44% spent between $10,000 and $50,000, and only 23% spent less than $10,000 on the manufacturing of PCB prototypes per year.

One of the question in the survey was, “Do you use short-run, low-volume external PCB prototyping services?”, the respond was that 93% said they did use external PCB services atleast once round the year. Other 62% of the companies that were surveyed said that the PCBs they were prototyping possessed high layer counts, stating that the PCBs are more mosaic designs and need more time and money for manufacturing it.

When the companies were asked if they fear for the security of their property when they employ services from external companies to design their prototype of circuit boards, 63% said yes they were. They did not deny the fear where in there were many other concerns that came in the way of sending the PCB prototype plans to an external company included the production time, high costs and the probability of delays to bring the final product in the market due to the time required in reworking the prototypes.

potential for 3D printing PCB prototypes

The final research of the survey implies that there can be improvement both in terms of time and money that is spent in making these prototypes, that can be potentially brought about by the implementation of 3D printed PCBs and electronics.

The Chief Business Officer at Nano Dimension, Simon Fried, says, “The off-site PCB prototyping process is rife with downsides: it’s expensive, it’s time consuming, and it puts intellectual property at risk. The market has seen 3D printers rapidly prototype other kinds of products and the results of our survey reflect a market that is ready for 3D printing to now usher in a new era of PCB engineering.  The time is now for engineers to print their own quality multilayer PCB prototypes in house- cheaply and quickly.”

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