SOLIDWORKS Add-In for Dragonfly 2020 Pro Gives Engineers Access to 3D Printed Electronics Design

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After a long beta period in which Nano Dimension trialed and perfected its Dragonfly 2020 electronic circuit board 3D printer, the company decided to scale the printer up, turning it into a fully industrial machine called the Dragonfly 2020 Pro. That wasn’t the end of the development process, however – for a conscientious 3D printer manufacturer, the development process is never over. There are always ways to improve and add to a 3D printer, and that’s what Nano Dimension has been doing. The latest update to the Dragonfly 2020 Pro comes in the form of a SOLIDWORKS add-in that makes 3D printing with embedded electronics accessible to mechanical and electrical engineers.

Users can now, for the first time, 3D print complex prototypes designed in SOLIDWORKS and made from polymers and metals in a single build process on the Dragonfly 2020 Pro. This is a significant advancement in how electronics are designed in SOLIDWORKS, and users can now design complex geometric structures with embedded electronics, encapsulated sensors, antennae and more.

“By 3D printing electronics, designers can obtain faster prototypes and work on PCBs in 3D, not just 2D,” said Suchit Jain, Vice President of Strategy & Business Development, SOLIDWORKS, Dassault Systèmes. “With Nano Dimension’s SOLIDWORKS add-in, for the first time ever, users can design and 3D print electronics with a push of a button. We are proud to be partnering with an industry innovator like Nano Dimension.”

Most editing software for 3D printed electronics only allows the user to design parts from a single material. The Nano Dimension add-in, however, lets the user edit and 3D print designs that contain conductors without ever leaving SOLIDWORKS. Users simply point and click to subdivide an object and then automatically select conductive or insulating materials for different parts of the object. Then they’re ready to 3D print.

Simon Fried [Photo: Sarah Goehrke]

“We developed this add-in for SOLIDWORKS applications as a direct response to our customers’ needs for prototyping increasingly complex designs,” said Simon Fried, President of Nano Dimension USA. “The SOLIDWORKS add-in for the DragonFly 2020 Pro is the first tool to enable the combination of freeform objects and embedded 3D electronics. This capability offers our customers the ability to make what is currently unmakeable. This enables new ways of thinking, new ways of designing and ultimately, providing revolutionary solutions to some of today’s toughest product design challenges.”

Fried recently moved to the United States to head up Nano Dimension’s operations in California.

“This makes collaborating easier, to get traction, and facilitates our work with Techniplas,” he told 3DPrint.com at SOLIDWORKS World. “Looking at our customer base and business development plans, it made sense for our first toe hold in the US to be in the Bay Area.

“This development was driven by requests from our customers,” he explained of the new plugin. “You can design parts and circuitry in it, work with multi-material design and multi-material 3D printing of circuitry that’s as free-flowing as SOLIDWORKS allows.”

The Dragonfly 2020 was, for a long time, a 3D printer that was highly talked-about and awaited with excitement by many. It went through many beta testers while others patiently waited for it to become part of the mainstream and accessible to anyone. Now that it is, it hasn’t disappointed, and Nano Dimension has taken it even farther than originally expected by turning it into an industrial machine. We’re finally beginning to see what it looks like in the real world, and now that it’s integrated with SOLIDWORKS, more engineers will be able to really work with it and see what it can do.

Nano Dimension is at SOLIDWORKS World this week, where Fried will be speaking in Los Angeles. 3DPrint.com is there as well, and we’ll be keeping you updated on what goes on at this busy and exciting exhibition.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

 

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