Nano Dimension launches DragonFly IV 3D-printer, acquires Swiss PCB maker

Nano Dimension launches DragonFly IV 3D-printer, acquires Swiss PCB maker

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Nano Dimension has launched its latest high precision 3D printing system and software to embed electronics into 3D structures and printed circuit boards.

The DragonFly IV printer and FLIGHT software platform deposits proprietary dielectric and conducting materials simultaneously, while concurrently integrating in-situ capacitors, antennas, coils, transformers, and electro-mechanical components.

The system was launched at the Productronica tradeshow today and with the recent $24m acquisition of Essemtec in Lucerne, Switzerland opens up the ability to embed functional chips into 3D structures.

“Essemtec’s present products fit Nano Dimension’s PCB and PCB assembly markets, as well as the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) verticals which we serve. Our mutual vision is to merge the technologies of our micro-electronic 3D-fabrication machines with Essemtec’s fuller suite of in-fabrication-process-equipment-assembly capabilities,” said Yoav Stern, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nano Dimension.

Essemtec has developed adaptive, highly flexible surface mount technology (SMT) pick-and-place equipment with a dispenser suitable for both high-speed and micro-dispensing,and intelligent production material storage and logistic system. Its products are equipped with a sophisticated software package which makes extensive and efficient material management possible.

“No less important is our intention to use our newly acquired deep learning based artificial intelligence technologies from our DeepCube acquisition to become the “robotic brains” for Essemtec systems,” he said. “Essemtec’s machines fit the larger picture of Nano Dimension’s vision, aiming to establish Industry 4.0 solutions, which entail building an artificial intelligence “distributed digital manufacturing application” rather than just machines as capital equipment.

“The end goal is to reach a capability for maintaining an inventory of high-end PCB devices, micro-mechanical parts and Hi-PEDs in digital form: print and assemble them as you need them, where you need them, only the quantity you need, in the best quality at competitive prices, as it is done in highest yield and throughput possible for that point in time, specifically in high mix/low volume scenarios.”

Next: Prototype systems

J.A.M.E.S in Munich has been using a beta version of the DragonFly IV system.

“The DragonFly IV is a milestone within the evolution of AME technology. Nano Dimension’s latest system, combined with the new FLIGHT software, enables the completion of complex jobs like no other AME system before. The J.A.M.E.S electronic design engineers’ community will greatly benefit from better access to AME solutions enabled by the FLIGHT software platform and the first-of-a-kind collaboration of ECAD/MCAD 3D design and testing,” said Andreas Muller, CO of J.A.M.E.S.

DragonFly IV improves the accuracy of traces to 75µm, spacing to 100µm and vias to 150µm with improved PCB product quality with a thickness variation of less than 5 percent. This allows the production of 3D Hi-PEDs in a one-step production process.

“DragonFly IV is the latest innovation in our present line of AME products. Combined with the FLIGHT software, it expands the electronic & mechanical performance envelop of AME devices and the fabrication ability thereof” said Yoav Stern, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nano Dimension. “With the ability to leverage rapid and environmentally friendly additive manufacturing processes, customers can change and metamorphose form, fit, and function. DragonFly IV will enable agile and rapid customization and personalization, as well as allows for the innovative structuring of electronics in the third dimension. Nano Dimension is bringing a completely new design and fabrication paradigms shifts to the electronics industry.”

The FLIGHT software suite now supports STL and ODB++ 3D file formats and incorporates ECAD designs into 3D MCAD designs with intelligent verification, slicing, and job control solutions. This enables the 3D design of electrical and mechanical features in three dimensions while ensuring that the new product designs comply with the system’s requirements and can then proceed directly to fabrication on the DragonFly IV. A control module for pre-production analysis enables concurrent fabrication of both 2D and 3D multi-material Hi- PEDs, improving productivity.;

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