From 2D to 3D printed electronics

From 2D to 3D Printed Electronics 2015-2025’ a brand new IDTechEx Research report details the impact of the advent of consumer-level 3D printed electronics.

A raft of new technologies are arriving from traditional flat and rigid 2D printed circuit boards to fully 3D printed electronics. The technologies include inkjetting, extrusion and Optomec’s Aerosol Jet, and the materials are metals, conductive and insulating thermoplastics and inks, and conductive pastes and photopolymers. The advantages and disadvantages of all valid combinations of technologies and materials are quantitatively assessed.

Some of the potential applications are mass customisation of flexible circuits and non-flat circuits, rapid prototyping of traditional PCB designs, mass production of antennas on curved surfaces for mobile and wearable devices and educational use of circuits and experimentation with 3D printed electrical devices such as electromagnets and motors.

These applications are assessed in detail and the potential for 3D printed electronics is examined both in the context of incumbent technologies such as PCB etching and competing technologies such as laser direct structuring (LDS).

Flexible and stretchable electronics for wearable technologies have been forecasted to reach $70bn by 2025 and structural electronics is forecasted to reach tens of billions of dollars by 2025.

The potential impact of these adjacent developments and the effect they may have on the 3D printed electronics market is discussed.

Led by interviews, the report “From 2D to 3D Printed Electronics 2015-2025” ( covers all of the applications, technologies, materials, players and markets that will be affected by the transition to 3D printed electronics and discusses the impact this will have.

The affected markets are $80bn PCB market and $15bn antenna market. In many cases there are compelling reasons for industries to adopt 3D printed electronics over the next decade, ultimately leading to forecast that the market for 3D printed electronics will be worth at least $1bn by 2026.

Source: The 3D Printing Association