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Additive manufacturing about to shake up portable electronics

Posted by maitri982 
Additive manufacturing about to shake up portable electronics
April 06, 2010 01:02PM
Not intimate with the details, but this appears to be an exciting advancement in 3D printing....

Re: Additive manufacturing about to shake up portable electronics
April 06, 2010 07:39PM
It sounds like they print all the layers (with powder and binder) first and then combine the layers. That makes sense for a factory, the time to print a part would be close to the time needed to print a single layer.
Re: Additive manufacturing about to shake up portable electronics
April 06, 2010 08:28PM
I had to read through the first white paper to understand. They are talking about making a screen or printing mask that hold all 60 layers of a piece at once. It is laid out in a grid of 60 boxes, and the ceramic substrates or carriers are 'shuttled' from box 1 to box 2 etc on through the line. Once a substrate has been printed on in all 60 boxes, it now contains a completed object. In the computer world, this is pipelining. Only one new, complete part is produced per printing cycle, but after you get the first 60 (or 80, or up to 100) pieces going, you get a new one each cycle. They are also filling 100% of the space, using a removable negative material that is then either burned or etched away. That way, they don't have to worry about overhangs, sagging, or temporarily unconnected pieces. The minor problem is that you must make a set of plates or screens or masks in advance that have every slice of the part already on one screen. And in their case, four different screens, one for ceramic 'ink', one for metal 'ink', one for removable negative support material, and one for plastics that are part of the finished product (probably not compatible with firing the ceramic and metal). Also, because every single slice of an object must be on the screens at once, they are limited to very small objects

EDITED (until base technology becomes generally available)

Their process is ingenious and very advanced. When I read that they are already building with three different materials, one of them a conductive metal, I bowed my head and said to myself, lets just hand over the Gada prize to them, they have passed us all by. But then, after reading the rest of the way through the white paper, and after seeing that their production sized unit uses the floor space of a small house, and the target product size is 'a paper clip', it became clear that this will never make a replica of itself, or of other repraps. It will make some extremely complex 3D shapes that heretofore were nearly impossible, but it is a huge machine that makes little parts. And we are striving for =small machines that make big parts.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2010 10:48AM by rocket_scientist.

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