New Mexico–based AM company Optomec has unveiled two new 3D printers at Formnext 2021. The first, the Optomec HC-TBR, is a directed energy deposition (DED) printer for metal AM. The second, the Optomec Aerosol Jet HD2 3D Electronics Printer, produces high-resolution circuitry. Both systems are capable of high-volume production and provide automated part handling options.
Optomec describes the HC-TBR as a compact, all-in-one metal printer compatible with a range of alloys. The printer uses DED technology and has an oxygen-free chamber. This enables it to process titanium and aluminum in high volumes. In fact, market demand for affordable titanium 3D printing inspired the development of the machine. However, the most unique selling point of the HC-TBR is its power-adjustable laser beam. With advanced laser optics, the system can change the size and power of the beam to reduce print times. (Optomec previewed the HC-TBR at last year’s online Formnext Connect event.)
The HC-TBR is part of Optomec’s LENS (Laser Engineered Net Shaping) technology family. Using DED, LENS systems offer multi-axis fabrication and hybrid capabilities, and they are suitable for creating, enhancing and repairing metal components. Using the LENS Print Engine, Optomec machines can integrate AM with other metalworking platforms such as CNC mills and lathes. Other Optomec machines with LENS technology include the CS 1500 and MTS 860.
Aerosol Jet HD2
Optomec’s other new machine is the Optomec Aerosol Jet HD2 3D Electronics Printer for 3D semiconductor packaging and assembly. Using Optomec’s Aerosol Jet solution, this printer can fabricate high-resolution circuitry with features as small as 10 microns. It can also dispense conformal 3D interconnects between die, chips, components and substrates.
Advantages of the Optomec Aerosol Jet HD2 3D Electronics Printer include a high level of performance at high signal frequencies. This enables a longer range and reduced power consumption. Furthermore, it allows for applications in emerging segments such as 5G communications, as well as in automotive radar and defense. Printing with the Optomec Aerosol Jet HD2 is a modern alternative to connecting electrical components with wire bonds, a traditional technique that results in inferior signal performance.
Optomec’s Aerosol Jet technology, found on machines like the AJ FLEX, enables interconnect printing on 2D and 3D substrates. Users can create electronic components such as resistors, capacitors, antennas, sensors, and thin film transistors. Furthermore, users can tweak performance parameters (such as the ohm value of a resistor) by adjusting print parameters.