Today’s rapid rise in demand for Smart Home, Smart Mobility and internet-connected devices (IoT) has led the polymer-based industry to search for new ways of developing innovative and functional devices, with applications that offer efficiency, improved performance and affordability. Nano Dimension’s DragonFly® System is the ideal technology to accelerate in-house electronics development and increase the design freedom to develop innovative products, quickly and cost effectively.
The additive electronics from Nano Dimension enable fast prototyping and manufacturing of conductive components, encapsulated sensors and smart surfaces, all of which can offer car makers the flexibility of printing an entire circuit board or just part of a connector, as well as the ability to develop the RF and digital sections of the board in parallel to test concepts on the fly. All of this can lead to the development of customized electronics, including embedded sensors, conductive geometries, molded connected devices, PDBs and more, that can become the backbone to innovative automotive components that will enhance driver experience. In addition, by introducing round-the-clock 3D printing of electronic circuity, there are multiple worlds opening up for industry by the introduction of the DragonFly® System. Its ability to 3D print electronics on unique and non-standard shapes is being used for the rapid prototyping and manufacturing of highly sensitive and sleekly designed human-machine interface surfaces.
With the breakthrough ability to 3D print functional electric components, Nano Dimension keeps automotive and industry customers in the fast track, putting them at the frontline of innovation, while keeping prototyping costs down.
Dragonfly LDM enables 3D printing of touch sensors
The REHAU Group is a polymer specialist with annual sales of around EUR 3.5 billion. The independent, privately held company has approximately 20,000 employees at more than 170 locations worldwide. The company employs 12,000 throughout Europe and 8,000 in Germany. For more than 70 years, REHAU has been working on making polymer products lighter, more comfortable, safer and more efficient. The company manufactures solutions for construction, automotive and industry and supplies its innovative products throughout the world.
With the rising demand of Smart Homes, Smart Mobility and Internet of Things (IoT), the polymer-based company REHAU has been searching for new ways to integrate electronics to its products in order to increase their functionality and efficiency.
REHAU has been looking for a supplier whose technology would enable fast prototyping and proof of concept of specialized touch sensors, with non-standard shapes.
REHAU chose to collaborate with Nano Dimension, whose DragonFly LDM® System, an additive manufacturing machine for printed electronics, perfectly fits the bill.
REHAU succeeded to print with the help of Nano Dimension’s application engineers, as an example, a board with two lines of touch sensors designed such that LEDs could fit inside. Together with a printed connector, all electronic components were printed as one piece. Importantly, the board was made of Nano Dimension’s in-house materials: insulating polymer ink and conductive ink.
The AME method provides printed boards with a smooth and uniform surface, lacking bulges, which are obtained once the components are soldered on the traditional PCBs. This smoothness enables the board to be annexed easily to the product, so it would look and feel as one unit.
This proof of concept ability presents the potential for the agile production of prototypes for smart furniture. The Dragonfly system provides REHAU the opportunity to produce prototypes of new devices in-house, within days, completely independent of external partners and long processes.
“Smartification is no longer just a vision for us. REHAU is developing improved products for the smart home and IoT environment, and Nano Dimension is providing important technology to help accelerate the availability of promising new applications.”
Dr. Ansgar Niehoff, Head of Technology Platform “Electronics into Polymers” at REHAU