Optomec Showcases 3D Printers for Metal and Electronic Applications at...

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2013-06-25 15:57
Optomec Showcases 3D Printers for Metal and Electronic Applications at RAPID

New Metal Printer and New High Volume Production Process for Electronics Introduced

Albuquerque, New Mexico, 25 June 2013: Optomec announced today that the Company featured its advanced LENS and Aerosol Jet 3D printers for Additive Manufacturing applications at the RAPID conference last week. A new entry model 3D Metal Printer named the LENS 450 (Laser Engineered Net Shaping) was introduced, and Optomec also previewed a new high volume additive manufacturing process currently in development for printing conformal antennas on mobile devices. This new process is based on Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet technology. A joint presentation by Optomec and Stratasys, titled “Capability Assessment of Combining 3D Printing (FDM) and Printed Electronics (Aerosol Jet) Processes to Create Fully Printed Functionalized Devices” was given during the Direct Write Printed Materials/Electronics track.

The Optomec exhibit featured examples of metallic and electronic parts that were produced using LENS and Aerosol Jet 3D Printers. Examples included high performance Aerospace and Medical metal parts that were manufactured or repaired with LENS technology. In addition, electronic parts used in Automotive, Aerospace, and Consumer Mobile Device industries printed using Aerosol Jet technology were demonstrated. For more information on the printed antenna application, click here:

Optomec LENS 3D Metal Printers are used to cost-effectively repair, rework and manufacture high-performance metal components in materials such as titanium, stainless steel, and super alloys. LENS printers use the energy from a high-power laser to build up structures one layer at a time directly from powdered metals. The resulting fully functional material offers excellent mechanical properties, similar to forged components for many applications. LENS printers are used throughout the entire product lifecycle for applications ranging from Materials Research to Repair and Rework to Low Volume Manufacturing. Optomec also previewed the newest member in its lineup of 3D Metal Printers called the LENS 450. The LENS 450 system provides a low cost entry point to Additive Manufacturing technology ideal for educating and introducing future technologist to metal 3D Printing concepts. For more information on LENS, click here:

Optomec Aerosol Jet Printers are used to directly print functional electronic circuitry and components onto low-temperature, non-planar substrates, without the need for masks, screens, or plating. Currently, Optomec is developing a new digital production solution that enables direct printing of antennas used in mobile device applications. In this case, Aerosol Jet technology is used to directly print conformal 3D antennas onto standard plastic inserts and enclosures for Smart Phones and other mobile devices. The Aerosol Jet process utilizes an innovative aerodynamic focusing technique to collimate a dense mist of material-laden micro droplets into a tightly controlled beam to print features as small as 10 microns or as large as several millimeters in a single pass. A wide assortment of materials can be printed with the Aerosol Jet system including conductive nano-particle inks and conductive polymers, dielectrics, conductive epoxies, ceramics, and bio-active materials. Aerosol Jet systems are used to print signal and power circuits, embedded sensors, conformal antenna, fuel cells, and to dispense conductive adhesives for solder-free attachment of integrated circuits and other components. For more information on Aerosol Jet printing, click here:

Optomec is a privately-held, rapidly growing supplier of Additive Manufacturing systems. These solutions utilize Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet Printed Electronics technology and LENS Printed Metal technology to reduce costs and improve performance. Together, these unique 2D and 3D printing solutions work with the broadest spectrum of functional materials, ranging from electronic inks to structural metals and even biological matter. Optomec has more than 150 marquee customers around the world, targeting production applications in the Electronics, Energy, Life Sciences and Aerospace industries.

a_bella 2013-06-26 00:20
"As this development attests, the growing importance of 3-D printing will not only spur advances in 3-D printing technology, but also in materials science."

Stratasys, Ltd. (SSYS) & Xerox Corporation (XRX) ”“ Electronics:The Next 3-D Printing Frontier
Published: June 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

"...Optomec announced, via a May 30 press release, that its aerosol jet system can print antennas onto plastic inserts and enclosures for smartphones and other mobile devices. It said it has successfully printed antennas for uses including LTE, NFC, GPS, WLAN, and Bluetooth.

The benefits of this technology include reducing the costs of producing the antennas, and allowing electronic products to be reduced in size, if desired. Smartphones now average roughly a half dozen antennas. Currently, internal antennas are separate components (which adds cost) or circuit board traces (which takes up extra space). Another possible benefit is performance, as this technology increases antenna placement options, as the antennas can be printed on non-planar surfaces.

Additionally, this technology has safety ramifications, as it eliminates the need for hazardous chemical plating.

Dave Ramahi, President and CEO of Optomec, said, “Optomec’s antenna printing solution represents a landmark achievement in our longstanding commitment to transition additive manufacturing technologies into mainstream mass production applications. With smartphone production on pace to reach 2 billion units per year, this market represents a significant and growing business opportunity that we are well poised to pursue.”

The company's system can produce 1 to 2 million units per year, depending on the antenna design. Reportedly, the company is engaged in talks with several handset manufacturers and their OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).

Optomec, based in Albuquerque, NM, isn't a public company. However, it's reportedly fast-growing, so there's always a possibility of an IPO or buyout by a public company in the future...."

Read more at http://www.insidermonkey.com/blog/stratasys-ltd-ssys-xerox-corporation-xrx-electronics-the-next-3-d-printing-frontier-180507/#JkzFfiOJjT9d3j0j.99
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