XJet Technology Unlocks 5G Network for UDEL; Marvel Medtech Buys XJet Carmel 1400 3D Printer for Breast Cancer Prevention

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With RAPID + TCT 2019 in full swing, Israel’s XJet Ltd. has a substantial amount of news, beginning with a 3D printed antenna created at the University of Delaware (UDEL), helping them tap into a 5G network and other applications too. Thanks to the XJet Carmel 1400 AM System and nanoparticle jetting, the research team from UDEL’s Electrical Engineering department was able to manufacture a lens for their complex antenna design.

XJet’s nanoparticle jetting uncovered the solution engineers from UDEL were seeking in finding a way to fix both performance and manufacturing issues in Passive Beam Steering, geared toward lightning fast antenna applications. With the introduction of the 5G network in their area, UDEL simply did not have the budget or technology to create the enormous number of antennas required to deliver data 10-20 times faster to users in the area. The manufacturing process also required production of complex, intricate channels with specific material properties.

“Discovering XJet NanoParticle Jetting was a real lightbulb moment for us. In one stroke, it solved our previous frustration in achieving both the material characteristics combined with the geometric properties essential to our solution,” said Mark Mirotznik, Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of Delaware. “NPJ is the only process capable of producing the inner walls of each channel with the accuracy and smoothness required to retain wave direction – but in ceramic. XJet’s ceramic is an isotropic, 100 percent density ceramic with the right dielectric constant, which does not ‘absorb’ and weaken signal. Quite literally, any tiny variation in tolerance could lead to diversion of the signal to the wrong place, and that couldn’t be afforded.”

University of Delaware’s Passive Beam Steering solution, a 5G antenna using a 3D printed graded dielectric beam-forming lens.

UDEL researchers had access to the XJet Carmel 1400 system through a Youngstown Business Incubator program on campus. They realized that the powerful technology would be a match for their development needs with the 5G antenna.

“We carried out research to establish the nature and properties of XJet printed Zirconia. This suggested the crystal structure of the prints are nearly even; the dielectric constant is high while the loss tangent is low and are both like the value expected from a non-printed crystal. This high dielectric constant with low loss opens the potential for 3D printing of a variety of microwave devices including antennas, lenses, and filters. Two simple dielectric resonator antennas were demonstrated with the material, showing that the measured material properties can indeed be used for accurate design of such devices with electromagnetic simulation tools,” says Professor Eric MacDonald, Friedman Chair for Manufacturing, YSU.

“The University of Delaware’s application of NanoParticle Jetting technology for antennas is truly pioneering. 5G is expected to bring about a true revolution in wireless technology, and with it the connectivity to support everything from autonomous vehicles and smart cities, to long-distance surgery, live-streaming virtual reality and the prospect of a limitless ‘Internet of Things’,” says XJet CEO Hanan Gothait. “Clearly, to achieve that, the technology must be extraordinarily reliable, and we believe NPJ is ideally placed to deliver it. 5G antennas will need to be produced in the millions to deploy a successful, fully functioning 5G global network – and millions is exactly the kind of productivity this system has been designed for.”

UDEL researchers are not the only group who will be enjoying this technology either, as XJet has just announced sale of an XJet Carmel 1400 system to Marvel Medtech for making advancements in studies related to breast cancer prevention. They will also be using the nanoparticle jetting process, but in this case making a ceramic cryotherapy probe for a robotic system that freezes breast cancer tumors to keep them from growing. Marvel Medtech explains that this new system has huge potential in the area of breast cancer prevention and is expected to save thousands of lives and billions of dollars in healthcare every year too.

“Our new approach preempts the need for many biopsies, surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Obviously, the expectation is that it’s likely to save many lives, but it will also dramatically improve the quality of life for patients,” said Ray Harter, President, Marvel Medtech. “In addition, we also know that by eradicating those procedures, it will also reduce overall healthcare costs. And these are not insignificant savings – annually, these could be in the many billions of dollars.

“But in making this system a reality, we were missing a vital piece of the puzzle. The tools used inside an MRI scanner must be compatible with strict safety guidelines, and crucially, not disrupt image quality. Because they are one of the most electrically insulating materials, ceramics are an ideal material to achieve this. However, we were unable to find a ceramic-based 3D printer able to accurately and cost effectively produce our ceramic probe. This is why we are adopting XJet’s Carmel 1400 solution.”

The XJet Carmel 1400 prints in both metal and ceramic and features an extremely large build tray for making large parts and offering detail, finishing, and accuracy unheard of so far.

“With over 500,000 women dying from breast cancer every year, and with 40,000 of those in the USA alone, Marvel Medtech’s solution has truly transformative potential in the healthcare industry. We were delighted to offer the Carmel 1400 in solving their production issues, and we are very proud to play our part in bringing this life-saving technology to market,” said Dror Danai, CBO, XJet.

“This application is a great example of how our unique ceramic 3D printing technology can enable manufacturers to overcome the limitations of traditional ceramic production. Indeed, we believe that XJet NPJ opens the door for the invention and production of many new products and tools to answer some of mankind’s biggest challenges, and we’re excited to see how it will impact our lives in the future,” concludes Danai.

The Marvel Medtech-designed cryotherapy probe contains proprietary internal complexity and features that can only be achieved with XJet NPJ 3D printing.

3D printing has infiltrated the world of technology and networking, allowing for so many new options whether in integrating electronics or controllers or creating innovative covers or containers for components that must be protected. In the medical field, 3D printed prosthetics and other devices are changing the lives of so many breast cancer patients too—and in some cases even saving them. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: XJet Ltd.]
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