Additive Manufacturing Strategies

nScrypt Achieves Six-Axis 3D Printing with 3Dn-Axis Factory-in-a-Tool System

ST Medical Devices

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nScrypt has some pretty exciting news to share: the Florida-based company’s new 3Dn-Axis Factory in a Tool (FiT) system now has six-axis 3D printing capability for all of its tool heads. A press release issued by the Sciperio spinoff declares that this achievement “enables digital manufacturing in true 3D.” The printer is able to perform this kind of multi-axis printing through six axes of motion, three of which are linear and and three rotational: the normal X, Y, and Z, and then RT, RR, and RS. RR is connected to the print bed and spins it, while RS is the axis connected to the Z stage, which actually rotates the tool head being used. RT is connected to RS, which tilts the tool head.

nScrypt specializes in designing and manufacturing flexible, next-generation microdispensing, biomanufacturing, and 3D printing solutions for multiple industrial applications, including printed antenna, life science, bioprinting, communications, printed electronics, electronics packaging, defense, space, and more. With its experience working with customers in such wide variety of industries, nScrypt realized that what it was offering could be improved even further. The company needed to find a way to achieve true 3D manufacturing, and its new 3Dn-Axis FiT system checks all the boxes.

“We are finding that printing only in XYZ just isn’t meeting customer needs. Rather than 3D printing parts, they want to do precision digital manufacturing of finished products in true 3D, such as integrating circuits and electronic components, like sensors, in helmets and other wearables, or in projectiles, drones, or medical devices,” explained Ken Church, the CEO of nScrypt. “Our 3Dn-Axis Factory in a Tool solves two problems: the ability to 3D manufacture complete products, like functioning electronic devices, and the ability to do so in true 3D, making complex shapes with integral electronics and fine surface finish. Our new FiT allows our customers to move beyond XYZ 3D printing to true 3D manufacturing.”

Because its 3Dn-Axis FiT can offer six-axis capability to the many included tool heads, nScrypt’s new digital manufacturing system can perform a multitude of tasks in actual 3D fashion, and not just in the typical XYZ planes. Some of these tasks include:

  • microdispensing with the SmartPump tool head
  • 3D printing with the 3Dn material extrusion tool head
  • integrate electronic components with the pick and place tool head
  • mill or polish with the nMill tool head

So it’s not just printing the parts that make up a whole product. With six-axis 3D printing, nScrypt’s nFD tool head can print the housing or structure for an electronic device, and then switch out to microdispensing conductive traces with the SmartPump. The electronic components are then added by the pick and place tool head, and the device can get a fine surface finish from the milling tool head.

You can see the nScrypt 3Dn-Axis Factory-in-a-tool system’s conformal dispensing abilities on a multi-curved surface in the images above. The images on the left, with the black and blue materials, show a 3D printed part that’s had a secondary wrapped STL thermoplastic part dispensed on top of it. On the right, the 3D printed part with blue and silver materials has a DXF file wrapped around its surface for the mill path, with an additional wrapped DXF file for the conductive pattern. During the entire build process, the thermoplastic extruder, mill bit, and dispensing tip were able to keep a constant orientation normal to the surface of the part.

(Source/Images: nScrypt)

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