Optomec showcased "smart structures" functionalized using Aerosol Jet printed electronics capabilities at the IDTechEx conference held on 3-4 April, in Germany.
The showcase follows a recent announcement by Stratasys and Optomec on their joint development of groundbreaking technology that merges 3D Printing and Printed Electronics capabilities to produce fully printed electro/mechanical smart structures.
Optomec showed two demonstrations of complex mechanical structures that were functionalized using Aerosol Jet 3D printed electronics capabilities. The first shows a working RF antenna and power distribution circuitry directly printed onto an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) wing which itself was printed with the Stratasys Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process.
The RF antenna transmits live video from a camera to a remote display monitor. The propeller and LED are powered by circuits also printed on the wing structure with Aerosol Jet. The electrical and sensor designs were provided by Aurora Flight Sciences, a supplier of UAVs.
Optomec also demonstrated an Aerosol Jet printed fill level sensor and control circuitry, courtesy of Neotech Services MTP. This novel device was developed under the FKIA project funded by the Bayerische Forschungsstiftung. Two capacitive sensor structures were printed on the ends of a molded plastic tank. The sensors are connected by printed circuits and surface mount components to complete the sensor device. When water is pumped into the tank the sensors register the water level as it rises, lighting LEDs to indicate the fill level. When the tank compartment is full the circuit senses the water fill level and reverses the pump direction.
In addition, Dave Ramahi, Optomec President and CEO, gave a presentation further highlighting Aerosol Jet 3D Printing capabilities for a number of application areas.
The IDTechEx Printed Electronics conference and trade show is the world's largest on the topic and growing rapidly every year. The IDTechEx Printed Electronics trade show matches potential adopters with Printed Electronics solution providers. The conference program featured a broad range of speakers from industry leaders in healthcare, packaging, advertising/media, military and more.
Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing solutions for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Solar, Medical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec's patented Aerosol Jet Printed Electronics technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of more than 100 users that includes many industry-leading manufacturers.
For more information attend Printed Electronics Asia in Tokyo, Japan on October 2-3 - the key event to learn and network with the leaders in printed electronics in Asia. See Printed Electronics Asia, October 2-3, 2012to register early for the best savings.