SWMnanoLeading 3D printing electronics company Nano Dimension Ltd. told its investors earlier this year that they planned to deliver six DragonFly 2020 3D printers in 2016 to beta customers. Today, less than four months after delivering a DragonFly 2020 to its first beta customer, and a little over a year since the desktop 3D electronics printer was unveiled, the company has announced their sixth beta customer delivery, meeting its targets for the year. We’ve been following the Israeli company for quite some time, and the news that they have successfully completed their 2016 goal and delivered, in return for payment, their revolutionary DragonFly 2020 to all six beta customers, is pretty exciting.

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[Image: Nano Dimension]

The DragonFly 2020 is an electronic circuit board printer and, according to the company, the first desktop printer in the world designed specifically for printed circuit boards (PCBs). The last beta customer to receive one is a Fortune 500 company, one of the ten largest bank holding companies in the US; it will be installed in the customer’s hardware development center and used to conduct electronics and hardware development activities for the financial services sector. The first was a leading Israeli defense company. Other beta customers include PHYTEC, a leader in microprocessors and supporting applications, an undisclosed US-based multinational Fortune 100 company that develops technological products and services, and advanced additive manufacturing company FATHOM, which marked their first delivery of the printer within the US. Earlier this year, FATHOM and Nano Dimension also teamed up to introduce the DragonFly 2020 to the US market.

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We got to see 3D printed PCBs in person at formnext [Photo: Sarah Goehrke for 3DPrint.com]

Nano Dimension’s beta program involves delivering the DragonFly 2020 3D printer to leading companies and partners all over the world. Beta customers are very important to the success of innovative, cutting-edge technologies like the DragonFly 2020. They are chosen carefully: Nano Dimension’s beta customers are considered leaders in the additive manufacturing world, and pioneers in combining the technology with electronics. Also, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. So it’s important to have customers and partners you trust purchase and test out your technology first, so they can tell you what, if any, issues there are to work out before you unveil your creation to the public, who may not be so forgiving of glitches.

“The beta program for the DragonFly 2020 3D Printer has been a tremendous success as we gear up for commercial deliveries in 2017,” Simon Fried, Chief Business Officer and a Co-Founder of Nano Dimension, tells 3DPrint.com. “Not only have we delivered six beta units, we’ve also spread them out among a variety of industries – from defense to electronics manufacturing to banking – which will provide us with highly valuable insight into how various industries will use the DragonFly and ways we can evolve the technology in the future.”

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Examples of 3D printed electronics from Nano Dimension at formnext [Photo: Sarah Goehrke for 3DPrint.com]

Beta customers help evaluate the capabilities of the system, and qualify the printer’s technology. While manufacturers do their testing in a controlled setting, beta customers use the technology in real world scenarios, where any number of things could happen, and they can see how the technology handles a wrench in the works. They take part in real, on-the-ground testing, and get to familiarize themselves with the product, which helps in its future commercialization. Beta customers also have the chance to use the technology before anyone else, and in the case of the DragonFly 2020 3D printer, can use it to speed up their own product development times, strengthen their in-house innovation capabilities, and get enhanced R&D IP security. On top of payment from their beta customers, Nano Dimension also gets back extremely valuable feedback about their product development.

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The DragonFly 2020 on display at formnext proved a popular draw [Photo: Sarah Goehrke for 3DPrint.com]

A commercial release date has not yet been announced for the DragonFly 2020, but hopefully they will announce that soon; until then, all we can do is wait eagerly in anticipation and hope the suspense doesn’t kill us first. Another option is to hop a flight to Nevada next month, as Nano Dimension will be at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. The team will be demonstrating the many features of the DragonFly 2020 and the production of its multi-layer PCBs, and the printer will also create antennas and molded interconnect devices (MIDs). 3DPrint.com had the opportunity to meet the Nano Dimension team at formnext, and will be meeting with them again at CES 2017, which takes place January 5-8. If you want to get a firsthand look at the DragonFly 2020, be sure to visit Nano Dimension inside the Israel Tech Pavilion, Tech West Sands Expo, Level 1, Hall G, Booth 51032.

 

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