Acquisitions & PartnershipsElectronics

Nano Dimension and HENSOLDT make breakthrough in electronics 3D printing

World's first 10-layer 3D printed PCB with electronic structures soldered to both sides

Global security and defense company HENSOLDT has achieved a milestone in 3D printing electronics in cooperation with Israeli leader in additively manufactured electronics Nano Dimension. The companies, which have been working together since 2016 to advance electronics AM, have assembled the world’s first 10-layer printed circuit board (PCB) with high-performance electronic structures soldered to both outer sides. The 3D printed PCB, made from a new dielectric polymer ink and conductive ink, is the first to successfully use soldering for a two-sided component.

The 3D printed component marks a significant step ahead towards HENSOLDT’s goal of using 3D printing in the development process of high-performance electronic components for defense applications. Compared to traditional electronic production techniques, 3D printing could offer more speed, agility and design freedom. “Military sensor solutions require performance and reliability levels far above those of commercial components.” explained HENSOLDT CEO, Thomas Müller. “To have high-density components quickly available with reduced effort by means of 3D printing gives us a competitive edge in the development process of such high-end electronic systems.”

HENSOLDT Nano Dimension

Another benefit of using additive manufacturing for the production of electronics is in verifying and testing a new PCB design before moving into production. This, in combination with fast turnaround times and ensuing cost reductions, can lead to final products of higher quality and performance. The 10-layer PCB produced by HENSOLDT using Nano Dimension’s electronic 3D printing equipment and materials, takes the technology a step ahead, showing that 3D printed PCBs can now be soldered on both sides.

“Nano Dimension’s relationship with HENSOLDT is the type of partnership with customers we are striving for,” said Yoav Stern, Nano Dimension President and CEO. “Working together and learning from HENSOLDT led us to reach a first-of-its-kind in-depth knowledge of polymer materials applications. Additionally, it guided us in the development of Hi-PEDs (High Performance Electronic Device) that create competitive edges by enabling unique implementations with shortest time to market.”

HENSOLDT first adopted Nano Dimension’s 3D printing technology in 2016 to explore the potential of printing electronics. More recently, the company installed Nano Dimension’s new DragonFly Lights-Out Digital Manufacturing (LDM) platform, the first AM system for round-the-clock, continuous production of 3D printed circuitry. The German defense company was the first to install the DragonFly LDM technology last July.

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault moved from her home of Montreal, Canada to the Netherlands in 2014 to pursue a master’s degree in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. It was during her time in Amsterdam that she became acquainted with 3D printing technology and began writing for a local additive manufacturing news platform. Now based in France, Tess has over two and a half years experience writing, editing and publishing additive manufacturing content with a particular interest in women working within the industry. She is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM industry.

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