It’s not often that Optomec advertises what its powerful Aerosol Jet® electronics 3D printing technology is being used for. That’s because it’s often used advanced corporate projects in such industries as aerospace and communications. Therefore, when any use-case is made public, it’s worth noting. The latest is from LITE-ON Mobile Mechanical SBG, who has developed a 3D Direct Printing (3DP) solution for mass producing electronic devices.
The Aerosol Jet 5X system is capable of precisely spraying electronic inks onto just about any surface due to the machine’s five-axis motion. Optomec customers are able to leverage the system’s open architecture to configure the machine for a given use, such as smartphone and tablet electronics.
LITE-ON had already been using Aerosol Jet 3D printing for the production of communications, personal care, and automotive prototypes. Upon successful implementation of the system for prototyping purposes, the company installed several production machines in Guangzhou, China, where the systems 3D print conformal electronics 24/7 to manufacture millions of consumer devices. With no special plating or resins, LITE-ON has seen a drop in production costs, while also being able to create slimmer designs through the spraying of antenna patterns and other electronics onto mechanical structures.
Henrik Johansson, Senior Manager of Technology Development Antennas at LITE-ON, elaborates on their process, “With the flexibility provided by Aerosol Jet technology, our 3DP systems can print sensors, antennas, and other functional electronics onto plastic components and covers, as well as metal die-cast insert-molded polymer frames, and even onto glass panels and ceramic materials. We see Aerosol Jet as a strategic component of our 3DP solution, which has enabled us to expand into new markets.”
Dave Ramahi, Optomec President and CEO, comments, “LITE-ON has been an incredible strategic customer for Optomec. Their dedication and commitment was critical to proving the viability of Aerosol Jet technology in a real world 24/7 production setting. With its unique and in-depth process knowledge in Aerosol Jet printing, Optomec is pleased to recognize LITE-ON as a ‘Center of Excellence’ for High Volume Production of 3D Printed Electronics.”