If you are looking for a new hobby, then you may want to try out 3D Electronics devices. This technology is rapidly becoming popular and is gaining in popularity because of the numerous applications that are available. The US Army, for instance, is trialing the use of ruggedized 3D printers to produce replacement components for their forward operating bases. The technology is also making its way into the market for consumer electronics, such as 3D printed televisions.
While 2D printed electronics are more common today, 3D electronic devices require multiple layers to function properly. For example, transistors on a semiconductor are typically regarded as two-dimensional devices, but are actually three-dimensional structures. The construction of 3D electronics requires a combination of additive and subtractive processes to create a transistor. The ability to print functional materials at multiple length scales is key to the development of these devices.
Direct electronics 3D printing offers great potential for the electronics industry, but the technology is still limited to two commercially viable technologies: Optomec and Nano Dimension. Optomec uses conductive inks to build devices, while Neotech AMT and Stratasys use the Aerosol Jet to deposit layers of photopolymerizable polymers. While both technologies are rapidly developing and becoming more commercially viable, they are still far from mass adoption.
Laser direct structuring is a technique that uses a laser to selectively activate an additive in an injection molded plastic. Electroless plating then metallizes the pattern. Laser direct structuring (LDS) has seen enormous growth in the past decade, and today manufactures 100s of millions of devices annually. Seventy percent of LDS devices are antennas, meaning that RF components can be made with this technology.
Advancements in this technology are helping electronics manufacturers create prototypes in-house. By removing the need to procure large units, these manufacturers are saving money on production costs. Furthermore, the technology opens up new design possibilities for complex shapes and components. 3D electronics can print multilayer circuits onto flexible surfaces, eliminating the need for a separate substrate. This reduces the size and thickness of 3D-printed electronics. There is a growing demand for these innovative products, and the technology will only continue to grow in the years to come.
Integrated 3D electronics systems also help to reduce weight and space. This technology is especially useful for lighting and capacitive touch sensing applications. In-mold electronics also offers multiple advantages over mechanical switches. By reducing the number of components in an object, 3D-printed electronics devices can simplify and reduce the complexity of assembly and manufacturing. It also allows for the integration of multiple functions within a single device. The report also includes market forecasts, company profiles, readiness level assessments, and case studies.
Despite the fact that 3D-printed electronics have many advantages, they are unlikely to replace silicon-based devices for many years to come. In fact, the current manufacturing processes make it possible to create electronics for very low prices. While a modern processor can run several hundreds of dollars, a microcontroller can cost as little as a penny. Eventually, however, these electronics will become cheap enough to be used in everyday equipment.