PCB 3D printers Nano Dimension (NASDAQ: NNDM) has received backing from the Israel Innovation Authority to develop ceramic 3D printing.
As of December 2016, Nano Dimension’s existing DragonFly 2020 3D printer has been installed in five industry-leading companies for the fabrication of printed circuit boards (PCBs). Nano Dimension early users include U.S. 3D printing bureau FATHOM and U.S. electronics company PHYTEC. There are a further two undisclosed companies in the US, with one in defense, and a further anonymous microprocessor solutions company in Germany.
Ceramic as a protector and insulator
Ceramics are highly sought-after material across a variety of industries for their strength and electrical insulation properties. In medicine, ceramics are used to help fuse bone fractures, and ceramic plates were used as the outer shell of NASA’s Space Shuttle to protect the interior from extreme heat as it re-enters the earth’s atmosphere.
Electrically, ceramic materials can be used in the manufacture of semi and super conductors. They are commonly used to make varistors – the electronic components that help to control a device’s voltage.
Developing the ceramic capabilities, which already exist in dielectric inks for the DragonFly 2020, is the next logical advance for Nano Dimension.
Innovation for Israel
The Israel Innovation Authority’s two main goals are “maintaining Israel’s position at the forefront of global innovation and elevating the entire economy through technological innovation”. In this respect, the authority is in line with the Dubai Future Foundation in the UAE, Innovate UK, and the America Makes program, though the latter has a particular focus on enhancements in additive manufacturing.
This particular Nano Dimension ceramic innovation is funded by MEIMAD, which is part of the Israel Innovation Authority’s Technological Infrastructure Division, and comprised of the Israeli ministries of Finance and Defense. Broadly, the Technological Infrastructure Division is targeted at research institutions and Research & Development within the industry – ensuring that Israel’s technology is cutting edge.
MEIMAD provides approximately $182,000 to the project, with private funds matching the amount to make a total investment of $372,000.
Featured image shows Nano Dimension and FATHOM at CES 2017. Photo via @studiofathom on Twitter.