Israeli 3D printed electronics manufacturer Nano Dimension has expanded its partnership with military sensor specialist HENSOLDT to form a joint venture entity named J.A.M.E.S (Jetted Additively Manufactures Electronics Sources).
The two companies are investing $6 million in the joint venture based in Taufkirchen, Germany, which will look to combine the strengths of both parties to further advance the development of 3D printed electronic components.
The main objective of J.A.M.E.S is to build an electronic designer community that can exchange designs and methodologies for manufacturing, integration, and materials for Additively Manufactured Electronics (AMEs). The joint venture will also provide prototyping services and AME applications for both its member community and industry users.
“I am confident that the co-investment of a supplier of transformative technologies such as Nano Dimension, and an early innovative, advanced adopter, committed to added value disruption such as HENSOLDT, will produce game-changing electronic solutions for both suppliers and users of AME/PE,” said Yoav Stern, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Nano Dimension, who will also serve on the J.A.M.E.S Board of Directors.
“We are on the verge of a revolution in 3D electronic additive manufacturing and are excited to establish a strong ecosystem to drive the development of AME with HENSOLDT.”
Nano Dimension and HENSOLDT’s ongoing partnership
While still a developing area, AMEs provide a flexible and customizable method for developing, prototyping and fabricating electronic circuits that can save both time and money during the time-to-market process. For instance, 3D printed electronics are useful for verifying the functionality of a newly designed electronic component before it is mass-produced.
HENSOLDT has been using Nano Dimension’s DragonFly PRO and DragonFly LDM 3D-AME printer technology since 2018 to manufacture 3D printed circuit boards (PCBs) and other High-Performance Electronic Devices (Hi-PEDs). The technology has since been used to advance HENSOLDT’s sensor technologies within the security and defense sector.
In May last year, the partners announced the successful 3D printing and assembly of a double-sided ten-layer PCB in what they believed to be a “major breakthrough” in the development of high-performance electronic components via additive manufacturing.
“HENSOLDT has been investing in basic research of digital 3D printing of electronic components for several years to make the benefits of this technology available for its own development and production,” said Marian Rachow, Head of HENSOLDT Ventures. “For example, in collaboration with Nano Dimension, HENSOLDT has already printed the world’s first 10-layer PCB, which carries soldered high-performance electronic structures on both outer sides, using a newly developed polymer ink from Nano dimension.”
According to Rachow, increasing competition and accelerated customer procurement timelines will be one of the most significant challenges in the future for providers, and this is where the new joint venture will play a key role.
“Our joint venture, J.A.M.E.S, not only offers rapid development of technology as a real alternative to conventional electronics manufacturing, but also offers small and medium-sized companies the opportunity to efficiently design new products,” she said.
The foremost goal of J.A.M.E.S is to develop a community of electronic designers that will exchange designs and methodologies for manufacturing and integrating AMEs. The idea is to connect the value chain between designs and design users across corporate and geographical borders via a cloud-based platform to enable its community to develop, prototype, market, and trade AME designs and products.
“J.A.M.E.S GmbH establishes a strong foundation for a worldwide network to foster research, innovation and ultimately the development of Hi-PEDs in areas and industries still unexplored,” said Stern. “The newly formed J.A.M.E.S is focused on building a cloud-based platform. In the future, other companies and customers are expected to upload a wide variety of electronic components in their usual CAD/CAM/CAE software and convert them into a new type of AME file on the platform.
“Furthermore, they will be able to obtain additional designs via the described platform, modify them, add their own form factor and have them printed on-demand.”
In addition to the cloud-based platform, J.A.M.E.S will also house a fabrication laboratory on-site that will be used for experimentation and support for designs and technologies arising out of the designer community. As such, J.A.M.E.S will provide prototyping services and AME applications for its member community and other industry users.
“HENSOLDT, as a market leader in the field of sensor technology and optronics, expects the closer cooperation with Nano Dimension to accelerate development cycles as well as spare parts production to respond to customer needs more quickly and cost-effectively,” added Rachow. “Using special dielectric and conductive nanoparticle inks, it is now possible to design electrical components directly via the printer and bring them into a three-dimensional form.”
With HENSOLDT co-investing $6 million in the joint venture entity with Nano Dimension, this indicates the firm’s strengthened commitment to advancing the technology within 3D printed electronics and expanding the sector’s capabilities.
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Featured image shows Nano Dimension’s DragonFly LDM 3D printing technology in action. Photo via Nano Dimension.