Dual material printing, flexible material printing – ready to go 3D printed PCB’s. The technology is maturing and has and will continue to change bigger parts of our industry.
The technology has been introduced as both something for the industry and for the consumer. And while some have seen clear benefits of implementing 3D printing capabilities in their services, other are still looking for ways to best fit the technology into their offerings.
One of the more interesting things that the technology have brought forth is that of rapid prototyping – both for smaller startups but also for the big dragons. No more waiting to see if ones idea hold water, just test it out. No need to send it away and include a third party – and with that running the risk of sending out important sensitive information. And the technology has come a long way since additive manufacturing was introduced in the late 1980’s – back then the devices were typically only conceptual models due to limitations of the technology; but now, you can have a working prototype in a matter of hours.
But what’s the big fuss about this technology? We’ve seen massive leaps in technology development before that hasn’t generated this amount of coverage. Well, it’s spelled “time to market”. The most critical aspect of success – and profitability – of any next-gen product. And as expressed in the paper “3D Printing for the Rapid Prototyping of Structural Electronics”, When these products include sophisticated electronics encased in 3D packaging with complex geometries and intricate detail, TTM can be compromised – resulting in lost opportunity. That’s where 3D printing comes in to save the day.
The fabrication freedom offered by 3D printing techniques will provide an advantage in the prototyping phase.