The key to this breakthrough is the specially developed inks. Sensor solutions provider Hensoldt, using newly developed dielectric polymer ink and conductive ink from Additively Manufactured Electronics (AME)/Printed Electronics (PE) provider Nano Dimension, assembled a 10-layer printed circuit board (PCB) that carries high-performance electronic structures soldered to both outer sides. Until now, 3D printed boards could not bear the soldering process necessary for two-sided population of components.
“Military sensor solutions require performance and reliability levels far above those of commercial components.” says Hensoldt CEO, Thomas Müller. “To have high-density components quickly available with reduced effort by means of 3D printing gives us a competitive edge in the development process of such high-end electronic systems.”
“Nano Dimension’s relationship with Hensoldt is the type of partnership with customers we are striving for,” commented Yoav Stern, Nano Dimension President & CEO. “Working together and learning from Hensoldt led us to reach a first-of-its-kind in-depth knowledge of polymer materials applications. Additionally, it guided us in the development of Hi-PEDs (High Performance Electronic Device) that create competitive edges by enabling unique implementations with shortest time to market.”
Additively Manufactured Electronics are useful to verify a new design and functionality of specialized electronic components before production. AME is an agile and individual engineering methodology to prototype a new electronic circuitry. It helps shrink development time and cost in the development process. Furthermore AME allows for a verified and approved design before production starts, leading to higher quality of the final product.
Hensoldt started working with Nano Dimension’s DragonFly 3D printing system in 2016 to examine the possibilities of 3D printing electronics. Last year, the company implemented the DragonFly Lights-Out Digital Manufacturing (LDM) printing technology for round-the-clock 3D printing of electronic circuitry.