Hyb-Man at the 3D Printing Electronics Conference 2020

On January 28 the 7th edition of the annual 3D Printing Electronics Conference took place at the High Tech Campus Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

An international group of speakers presented their  latest breakthroughs, cutting edge research and business opportunities. Amongst them three Hyb-Man partners presented their proceedings and future visions: Neotech AMT, VSL and Holst Centre.

Neotech: state-of-the-art production of 3D mechatronic systems

Martin Hedges (Neotech AMT, Germany) presented the state-of-the-art related to the production of 3D mechatronic systems via Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes and the scalability to high volume manufacture. He showed how a reconfigurable array of structural and electronics printing, pre- and post-processing techniques were combined with SMD technologies to enable digitally driven 3D electronics manufacturing. And also how the resultant flexible process chains could be easily reconfigured to cope with rapid changes in product type whilst retaining the ability to be scaled through to high volume manufacture. Selection of the most appropriate print, pre- and post-processing methods with the subsequent effect on process speed and cost were discussed, as well as a review of current applications spanning 3D electronic circuits, antenna, sensor and heater patterns. Finally an update on the progression to First Time Right manufacture of complex devices was given.

VSL: Metrology for quality management of printed conductors

Richard Koops (VSL, Dutch Metrology Institute ,the Netherlands) presented “Metrology for quality management of printed conductors”, in which he depicted how in-line and in-process metrology is required to measure critical to quality process and product parameters, enabling first time right manufacturing of relatively small production volumes. Within the Hyb-Man project, technologies are being developed for embedded electronics and printed interconnects. Since the functionality of the interconnects determines whether the final product will be accepted or has to be rejected, metrology has been developed to inspect the quality of conducting printed tracks. A newly developed non-contact measurement method was presented, which enables in-line and even in-process inspection of interconnects and vias.

Three Hyb-Man partners Neotech, VSL and Holst Centre showed their proceedings and future visions

Holst Centre: developing technologies to enable production of printed electronics

Hessel Maalderink presented proceedings regarding 3D printed electronics at Holst Centre (the Netherlands). Following the growing demand for printed (PCB-less!) electronic devices, and triggered by multiple drivers on the demand side -smaller, lighter weight, flexible, robust, smart, more sensitive (sensors), more active (actuators), connected, personalized, Holst Centre was involved in various research programs targeted at developing technologies to enable production of such printed electronics. This was done either by stacking functional layers in sheet-to-sheet or roll-to-roll processes, or by novel freeform processes based on Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) technology. Highlights and remaining challenges were presented about various technologies like LIFT, face-up component integration and via-printing. Results and samples from the Hyb-Man project were shared with the audience.

Furthermore, under the moderation of Jakajima’s Pieter Hermans, very interesting presentations were given by: Youngstown State University (USA) Würth Elektronik eiSos (Germany,) Hasselt University (Belgium),University of Hamburg (Germany,) Origin (USA), PROFACTOR GmbH (Austria) KEX Knowledge Exchange AG (Germany), Metafas (the Netherlands), LifeSense (the Netherlands), ATA-GEAR (the Netherlands), and DoMicro (the Netherlands).

Overall it was a very interesting day at the yearly 3D printing electronics conference in Eindhoven, where people from an internationally oriented public could meet, learn and discuss about these new technologies.