Mar 14, 2019

Medical robotic arm light fixture with specially-shaped LEDs lights the way to rapid innovation

By Robert Even, Nano Dimension 


Medical robotic arm light fixture with specially-shaped LEDs 


The medical device industry has long been a leader in the adoption of cost and time-effective additive manufacturing R&D and production processes. Now, as additive manufacturing of mechanical parts has already proven its merits in the medical space – in areas like diagnostic equipment, surgery tools and other devices – the industry is turning its sites on LED light sources that connect to electronic circuits and hardware

The time is ripe for next step in innovation, as additive manufacturing of functional printed electronics takes root with Nano Dimension’s DragonFly Pro System. This more advanced additive manufacturing solution for printed electronics has the potential to further compress timelines and expand innovation – very important advantages in the development of robots, hearing aids, monitors, pacemakers and more.

Prototypes at Lightning Speed

We recently printed a board from MicroChip for a medical robotic arm light fixture with specially-shaped LED circuits. Due to the widespread use of LEDs, more and more special shapes are required to fit the actual part for the final application. In cases like that, the Nano Dimension’s DragonFly Pro system is a powerful development tool that helps accelerate development of any-shaped LED circuit and a wide variety of PCBs.

Designed by MicroChip, the 24V DC LED Load Board works together with CL8800 LED Driver Board (ADM00866) and with CL88030 LED Driver Board (ADM00860). It consists of 12 series-connected LEDs, driven sequentially by 4 TAPS LED Linear Drivers, CL8800 or CL88030, from 230V AC mains.

Using the DragonFly Pro System, we printed two of these circular boards overnight and then manually soldered the components.  Within 24 hours, we had a complete functional LED board.  

While the result of this effort is a simple functional board, it demonstrates that DragonFly-printed PCBs can support a power consumption of 10W and rapid development of specially-shaped PCBs. The board was tested at 24V.  It also shows the possibility to combine two different technologies (the driver circuit using traditional FR4 and copper and a precision 3D printed board using Nano Dimension’s Nano silver and dielectric inks).


With additive manufacturing for printed electronics, speed means time savings for prototyping. It also means faster time to making design choices and agility to workflows. Removing limitations for creativity, experimentation and innovation is crucial in very development project. A LED board correctly designed means work can continue without delay within hours. And in case the original design requires further modification, the time and cost necessary to print a new prototype is negligible when compared with conventional options. LEDs are used in almost every device that lights up, and Nano Dimension’s additive manufacturing technology is making it better, cheaper and faster than ever to innovate! What project do you develop? Would in-house production of your LED device help you with your work? Please share with us your thoughts.

Talk to an expert about Nano Dimension’s award-winning DragonFly Pro system to find out how to unlock the key benefits of precision additive manufacturing in your next electronics project.

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