Startup nano3Dprint has released a dual-syringe 3D printer for conductive inks, graphene solutions, UV curable polymers, pastes and more. With a price of $6,000, the B3300 can be an affordable research printer.
The B3300 Electronics 3D Printer
Founded by former nanotech entrepreneur and NASA affiliated researcher Ramsey Stevens, the company aims to make multi-material printing affordable. nano3Dprint aims to allow users to mix and match silicone, gold, conductive inks, and many other materials into integrated devices. Proposed applications include wearables, medical devices, and electronics.
With a build volume of 214 x 186 x 160 mm, the B3300 can nozzle lift its two syringe print heads. A built-in video inspection system makes it possible to view and adjust deposition. The glass print bed can be heated to 100°C, while the print head can handle viscosities between 1 mPa to 54000 mPa and lay down tracks of up to 500 microns in one pass. The minimum trace width is 0.20mm.
Gretta Perlmutter, nano3Dprint´s Product Success Manager states,
“The B3300 3D printer is a great solution for a wide range of applications. It can print wearables with embedded conductors, cell phone parts with internal antennas and electronic devices with internal sensors. It allows for incorporating sensors, strain gauges, heaters, complex antenna geometries and optical components in a 3D print and provides manufacturing solutions for the medical, agriculture and solar industries, and general consumer electronics. This is a revolutionary development within the electronics 3D printing industry; new combinations of materials difficult to print together, like silicone and gold or dielectrics with semiconductors, can now easily be printed in combination with the B3300.¨
How the B3300 Fits into the Market
The B3300 looks like simple platform that would be ideal for researchers to have an affordable platform in electronics and dispensing generally. Most systems in this market are much more expensive, meaning that nano3Dprint’s machine could really democratize 3D printing research for a lot of universities and companies. Its simple and inexpensive nozzle attachments may be refreshing for users, as well.
We don’t yet know exactly how reliable and functional the B3300 is, but I love the idea of someone making an affordable 3D printer that could colonize a lot of labs worldwide—just as occurred with the Ultimaker 2. It could really garner a great deal of interest from numerous parties. It is early days yet, however, and the B3300 would have to prove itself in the market in order to really make a difference.
Fab@Home was an open source project that provided the world with an affordable syringe extrusion printer. Launched in 2006, Fab@Home made for a very compelling, functional package that could lay down a variety of pastes and liquids. It could print batteries and simple circuits, as well as cheese and pizza dough. Later on, the RepRap project displaced Fab@Home because the filament-based 3D printers were much more affordable, as well as easier to tinker with and improve.
With filament printing, we’ve seen a true renaissance with a rapid growth in the desktop market over the past decade. Hundreds of entrants means that you can now buy $200 machines that work, as long as you provide some TLC. $5,000 printers are now very functional and we can be proud of those results.
However, if we look at syringe-based extrusion, there is so much that it can offer us that other 3D printers can not currently do. Fine flexible circuits, conductive materials, and multiple materials are difficult for most 3D printing processes. The technology could mix and match silicones with circuits, create simple sensors, and even produce working machines.
The additive manufacturing industry really needs to look again at syringe extrusion. I believe that syringe extrusion based processes will take us so much further than just filament alone. Filament extrusion can be used to create a tough dimensionally accurate form. Then, syringe deposition could create gaskets, seals and flexible elements, as well as traces and coatings. To me the combination of the wide material availability of thermoplastics and the toughness they provide with the huge array of inks could let us make more complete devices.
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