Additive Manufacturing Strategies

The Optomec Aerosol Jet 5X Five Axis Electronics 3D Printer is a Hit with the Internet of Things

ST Medical Devices

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3dp_optomecviwadeal_opt_logoNew Mexico-based industrial 3D printing technology manufacturer Optomec is reporting that their Aerosol Jet 5X printing system has been getting quite a bit of attention from companies creating products for the Internet of Things (IoT). The advanced five-axis 3D printer is capable of printing simple electronics, sensors and antennas directly onto three-dimensional objects and surfaces, and the technology has created interest from a wide range of industries. Companies that design or manufacture products and devices for the aerospace, defense, industrial manufacturing, consumer electronics and the healthcare industry are all lining up to get their hands on the new, advanced 3D printer.

Optomec Aerosol Jet 5X printing system.

Optomec Aerosol Jet 5X printing system.

Manufacturing connected products, or devices and objects that can connect or gather and transmit data wirelessly to the internet, all have obvious uses for the technology. The Aerosol Jet 5X allows these companies to easily research, prototype or manufacture small runs of Internet of Things connected devices at a significant reduction in cost from traditional methods. The next generation of smart devices will require tightly integrated 3D antennas, sensors and other circuitry that are not typically very easily incorporated into them without increasing their size and weight.

“With the Aerosol Jet 5X system we expect to iterate quickly to provide optimized 3D printed electronic solutions enabling engineers to create smaller, lighter, and more efficient products,” explained Steve Crynock, a GE Healthcare Systems AME Senior Electrical Process Engineer.

The 5-axis motion printing platform on the Aerosol Jet 5X  is a cost efficient method of including integrated electronics into a wide variety of plastic, ceramic and metal 3D structures. The use of IoT connected devices is expected to exponentially grow throughout the automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, defense, healthcare, and power generation industries within the next decade. The Aerosol Jet 5X  was developed with these new applications in mind, and Optomec expects their system to create an entirely new generation of lightweight, high performance consumer and industrial IoT applications and devices.

Electronics and circuits printed on a curved surface by the Aerosol Jet 5X system.

Electronics and circuits printed on a curved surface by the Aerosol Jet 5X system.

“We are pleased to see the rapid adoption of our recently introduced Aerosol Jet 5X system by multiple companies across a variety of industries. This solution is enabling next generation 3D electronics in ways not possible with current manufacturing methods,” said Optomec Director Aerosol Jet Product Management Mike O’Reilly.

The Optomec Aerosol Jet Systems for 3D printing electronics joins their LENS metal 3D Printers as many industries goto additive manufacturing systems. Optomec systems are widely used due to their ability to reduce final production cost and improve performance. Their unique 3D printing solutions work with a broad spectrum of functional materials, including electronic inks, multiple structural metal materials and even biological matter.

Here is a video of the Aerosol Jet 5X system in action printing advanced electronics and sensors on 3D surfaces:

The Optomec patented additive and aerodynamic material deposition abilities of the Aerosol Jet 5X system allows features to be printed at sizes ranging from several millimeters in width down to as small as ten microns. The Aerosol Jet 5X technology can be configured to handle rapid prototyping, low volume manufacturing or it can be scaled up to meet high volume production needs. The printing system will support a variety of functional materials, including adhesives, polymers, conductive inks and dielectric materials. Deposition of these available materials can be made on flat or 3D surfaces, or even low temperature substrates, which offers users a wide range of applications. Discuss this new technology in the Optomec Aerosol Jet 5X 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.

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