3D Printed Electronics for Printed Circuit Structures


Reading time ( words)

Abstract

Printed electronics is a familiar term that is taking on more meaning as the technology matures. Flexible electronics is sometimes referred to as a subset of this and the printing approach is one of the enabling factors for roll-to-roll processes. Printed electronics is improving in performance and has many applications that compete directly with printed circuit boards. The advantage of roll-to-roll is the speed of manufacturing, the large areas possible, and a reduction in costs.

As this technology continues to mature, it is also merging with the high-profile 3D printing. 3D printing is becoming more than just a rapid prototyping tool and more than just printing small plastic toys. Companies are embracing 3D printing as a manufacturing approach to fabricate complex parts that cannot be done using traditional manufacturing techniques. The combination of 3D printing and printed electronics has the potential to make novel products and, more specifically, to make objects electrically functional. Electrically functional objects have the advantage of competing with printed circuit boards.

Printed circuit structures will be a new approach to electronic packaging. It is the desire of many companies to reduce assembly processes, decrease the size of the electronics, and do this at a reduced cost. This is challenging, but the potential of printing the structure and the electronics as a single monolithic unit has many advantages. This will reduce the human touch in assembly, as the electronics and the object are printed. This will increase the ruggedness of the product, as it is a monolithic device.

This will eliminate wires, solder, and connectors, making the device smaller. This has the potential to be the future of printed circuit boards and microelectronic packaging. This article will show working demonstrations of printed circuit structures, the obstacles, and the potential future of 3D printed electronics.

To read the full version of this article which appeared in the September 2017 issue of The PCB Magazine, click here.

Share

Print


Suggested Items

Conventional Exposing: Direct Imaging Solder Mask

07/04/2019 | Nikolaus Schubkegel
When you compare direct imaging of solder mask with contact exposure of solder mask, the positive aspects and the advantages are clear. Without a doubt, direct imaging shortens the throughput time and eliminates artwork production. It also eliminates the costly measurement of the panels and manufacturing of artwork with different scaling factors.

Microtek Labs: Providing Trusted Testing in the Chinese Market

06/19/2019 | Barry Matties and Edy Yu, I-Connect007
On a recent visit to Microtek Laboratories' Changzhou facility, Barry Matties, publisher, and Edy Yu from the I-Connect007 China team spoke with chairman and CTO Bob Neves about the changes he has seen living and doing business in China over the past 15 years, and the increased importance of standards and testing as China moves into manufacturing more high-reliability products.

ICT 45th Annual Symposium Review

06/12/2019 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
The Institute of Circuit Technology (ICT) held its 45th annual symposium on June 4, 2019 in Dudley at the Black Country Museum—a symbol of the spirit of innovation in engineering technology and the entrepreneurial and manufacturing skills that had established that region’s supremacy in leading the original Industrial Revolution. Here's a recap of the events and presentations at the symposium.



Copyright © 2019 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.