Optomec, a supplier of production-grade additive manufacturing systems for 3D printed electronics and 3D printed metals, has recently declared that its Aerosol Jet Technology can enable 3D polymer and composite structures to be printed at the micron scale with embedded electronics. This breakthrough has significant potential to reduce the cost and size of next-generation products used in the electronics and bio-medical industries.
This new capability is enabled by combining Optomec’s proven Aerosol Jet solution for fine feature printing with a proprietary in-situ curing capability for rapid on-the-fly solidification. The Optomec method relies on both local deposition and local curing. This makes the process more economical, in terms of material consumption, but is also key to enabling the highest resolution features available.
Using this process high aspect ratio, free-form 3D structures can be printed at the micron-scale, without the need for support structures, from materials including photopolymers and certain composites. Aerosol Jet 3D micro-structure printing is capable of ultra-high resolutions with lateral features sizes down to 10 microns, and lateral and vertical build resolutions from 1 micron to 100 nanometers respectively. Aspect ratios of more than 100:1 have been achieved.