As distinguished from IML, IMD for durable goods frequently involves roll-to-roll feeding of decorative and functional surfacing materials for back molding; paint films on a carrier film, which are deposited via back molding; or functional electronics
(e.g., touch sensors) that can be applied in the mold like IML or bonded to the part after molding via vertical or roll-on hot-stamping.
Participants in the hand-soldering competition were tasked with building a functional electronics
assembly, a new design this year, within a 60-minute time limit.
LITE-ON, a global contract manufacturer, has pioneered a 3D Direct Printing (3DP) solution that enables 3D antenna patterns and other functional electronics to be integrated into virtually any mechanical structure or cover - maximizing design flexibility, ensuring optimal placement and performance, and allowing slimmer product designs.
With the flexibility provided by Aerosol Jet technology, our 3DP systems can print sensors, antennas, and other functional electronics onto plastic components and covers, as well as metal die-cast insert-molded polymer frames, and even onto glass panels and ceramic materials, said Henrik Johansson, Senior Manager, Technology Development Antennas, at LITE-ON.
Now many technologists are experimenting with "applying" circuitry to 3-D printed parts via conductive ink "printing" capabilities to see if a three-dimensional printed part, such as a housing, could also contain functional electronics
, thus reducing the number of circuit boards required and better taking advantage of available real estate to reduce weight.
"The asset freeze by the state tax department has prevented us from transferring the factory to any other mobile handset maker despite having a fully functional electronics
manufacturing system," the official said.
Jeff DeGrange, vice president of direct digital manufacturing at Stratasys (stratasys.com), called it a "really fun venture." But the convergence of two additive technologies-3D printing and printing functional electronics
on complex shapes could signal a fundamental change in rapid product development.
The first project, the development of a 'smart wing' for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) model with functional electronics
, reportedly has the potential to change product development in industries including medical device, consumer electronics, automotive and aerospace.
Over three days, participants will compete to build a functional electronics
assembly within a 60-minute time limit.
OBJECTIVE: Novel manufacturing methods for functional electronic