3D printing side-mounting technology onto circuit boards
The additive electronics provider, Nano Dimension, has announced side mounting technology for additively manufactured printed circuit boards (PCBs). With Nano Dimension’s DragonFly Precision Additive Manufacturing System, the technology can print and solder components to the top, bottom and sides of the PCB, resulting in as much as a 50% increase in board space when compared with traditionally manufactured PCBs.
The extra space afforded through side mounting allows design engineers to pack more functionality on the circuit board, which is particularly relevant for IoT and Industry 4.0 where customised designs and shapes are a growing demand.
“For applications like the IoT where innovation is paramount, creating new electronic products in shapes and sizes that were never before possible is liberating for design engineers,” said Amit Dror, CEO of Nano Dimension. “Because of this added real estate, more functionality can be generated from sides of the board that can also be used to connect with additional boards.”
Another important enablement of side mounting is the ability to create a specialised PCB that plugs into a socket mounted on a mother board. By printing this board and inserting it into the cavity of a second board, users can rapidly customise applications based on a generic mother board.
Side mounting is ideal for applications such as modular antennas, creating non-standard packaging and innovative IoT applications. Future potential applications and benefits of Nano Dimension’s side mounting technology include printing a horizontal ground layer on the Z-axis, enabling the DragonFly Pro to produce higher performance antennas or multiple antennas with varying voltages within the board. This not only saves space but also creates design possibilities.