3D printing is transforming the way we design and manufacture electronics. It overcomes constraint in traditional approaches regarding speed, complex workflows and resources, enabling manufacturers to push boundaries, drive innovation and get products to market faster.
Here are 5 of the most common use cases of this revolutionary additive manufacturing technology.
1. Rapid Prototyping
This is the process of making prototypes quickly to minimize re-work and develop higher-quality products at faster rates to support product evaluations, development and decision making.
Traditionally, engineers prepare a Gerber file of the PCB, then send the design information to a third-party, which manufactures a small number of circuits using the same subtractive process as that for volume production.
Using additive manufacturing technology, engineers and designers use the same Gerber file to simply 3D-print the prototype. This in-house capability enables them to correct a product design early in the process, reducing the cost of error to the business, and allowing them to perform inexpensive, quick and frequent revisions of their designs and creations.
Early stage proof-of-concept circuits are the first step toward demonstrating feasibility to reach the product design solution faster.
3D printing enables companies to create fully-functional prototype iterations to quickly test proof-of-concept and determine if the concept idea is technically feasible. You can swiftly present new ideas to key stakeholders, determine areas for improvement, and make adjustments on-the-fly.
3. Design Validation
Early and accurate design validation is critical for testing if a design performs to its goals and specifications, and pinpointing critical issues early in the design cycle.
With 3D-printed electronics prototypes, development teams can compare circuit designs frequently, working more efficiently and accurately.
4. Agile Hardware Development
Traditional manufacturing techniques lead to lengthy lead times and high expenses for numerous design iterations.
With 3D-printed electronics, hardware electronics development becomes more agile as design teams are able to comprehensively review the product at the end of each phase, translating to time and money savings. This approach also reveals potential flaws earlier and improves development cycle times.
5. Low Volume Production
Additive manufacturing processes can be used for producing PCBs and for low-cost and ultra-quick turnaround of small production volumes. This enables print-on-demand and customized circuits for small and flexible lines of production and end-user products.
Some final comments:
3D printed electronics has many advantages, the most obvious being that it reduces the time of development. Traditional design and development processes can take more than a week to produce a working PCB prototype.
The DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D PCB Printer can bring about all the benefits of the aforementioned use cases of 3D printed electronics and produce multilayer PCBs overnight. But the more significant advantage is the ability to have control of workprocesses and timelines, making companies more compeitive on time sensitive development projects. It also keeps your sensitive design files private by keeping production of PCBs in-house instead of outsourcing,, reducing business risks.
To find out more about the DragonFly, download the free brochure today.