Optomec Jet Aerosol Solar lab System
A new US patent has been awarded to Optomec for its innovative jet additive manufacturing technology.
The global leader in 3D printing for production applications announced on March 6th 2014 that its 'Miniature Aerosol Jet and Aerosol Jet Array', patent #8,640,975, was granted a full US patent. The design is enabling for a range of product applications including printing 3D conformal electronics onto large structures in location and 3D printing electronics into hard-to-reach places like cavities and recesses.
The patent provides protection for a miniaturised aerosol jet print head geometry that is significantly smaller in size, lighter and lower in cost than earlier versions. The patent also includes provision for multi-plexing the miniaturised print head geometry within linear arrays or custom arrangements for high-volume production scale-up.
Optomec Aerosol Jet Printers are used to 3D print functional electronic circuitry and components onto low-temperature, non-planar substrates without the need for plating, screens or masks. The process makes use of an innovative aerodynamic focusing technique to collimate a dense mist of material-laden micro-droplets into a tightly-controlled beam to print features as miniscule as 10 microns or as large as several millimetres in a single pass.
Chief Technology Officer Dr Mike Renn said: "The miniaturised Aerosol Jet print head can be used for many applications. As a linear array using a single material, it is a means for increasing throughput with simple parallel processing for high volume applications, such as printed touch screen displays. However, the array doesn't have to be linear; custom placement of multiple print heads for a specific application is also an option.
"Looking into the future, Aerosol Jet could print different materials from each miniaturised print head in the array. In this case, Aerosol Jet Printers could produce complex multi-material, multi-layered devices such as transistors, capacitors, sensors and resistors, on a single system."