Towards fully additive 3D printed electronics with Neotech

Pictured: thermal image at 60 degrees Celsius (left), and ‘fully additive’ 3D printed heater.
Pictured: thermal image at 60 degrees Celsius (left), and ‘fully additive’ 3D printed heater.

Neotech AMT GmbH is a leading company developing manufacturing technologies for 3D Printed Electronics (3D PE). To expand on the capabilities for fully additive 3D Printed Electronics, Neotech AMT GmbH is involved in two new major projects.

Since 2009 Neotech AMT GmbH has pioneered developments in the emerging 3D Printed Electronics market and offers production level and R&D systems. The patented 45X system is currently used in the high volume manufacture of cell phones, and many other applications for automotive and industrial customers are under development, including sensors, antenna, 3D circuits, and heater patterns.

Neotech has been developing 3D PE mass production systems for directly writing electronics onto injection moulded parts since 2009 with the first mass production program running since mid-2015. By adding capability for printing structural components in printed plastics and ceramics, the two mutually supporting projects that Neotech is involved in will help drive the adoption of fully additive 3D PE technology.

Hyb-Man Project

The EU PENTA project ‘Hyb-Man’ consists of eleven partners from Germany and The Netherlands who will develop hybrid 3D manufacturing methods to enable flexible first time right production of smart systems. The new hybrid 3D manufacturing exploits 3D printing of polymers combined with 3D PE as core production technologies.

As part of the complete process chain, in-line testing and quality monitoring processes will be integrated. Projected outcome: a hybrid manufacturing production cell, improved Additive Manufacturing processes, and prototypes of integrated electrical products – such as automotive adaptive sensors and LED luminaires – made using the hybrid manufacturing cell.

AMPECS Project

The second major project is AMPECS, funded by EU Manunet Program. In this project, 3D printable ceramic materials will be developed by the German-Spanish consortium for creating the structural body and integrate printed electronics into and onto this component. End-use applications will cover areas where harsh environments exists, like for example aerospace and automotive, as well as in mobile communications.

“We have been working on combining 3D Printed Electronics with classical 3D Printing of mechanical structures and these new projects will accelerate the development,” explains Dr Martin Hedges, Managing Director of Neotech. “The ability to use fully Additive Manufacture to create complete 3D mechatronic systems enables many novel applications across diverse industries.”