Nano Dimension prints elastic smart fabric and, it’s electric!

Smart bandages, virtual reality gloves, sportswear that manages body temperature, a Samus Aran Zero Suit…the possibilities of smart fabric are endless: and champions of nanotechnology innovation, Nano Dimension, appear to have cracked the code on making these virtual dreams a reality.

Coming soon? The Zero Suit with energy converters as worn by Samus, in the Nintendo franchise Metroid and Super Smash Bros.
Image: Nintendo

In testing methods to print electronics as an integral part of a fabric, Nano Dimension Technologies Ltd (a subsidiary of Nano Dimensions), discovered a pattern of silver conductors which has a high enough elasticity to match the properties of fabric. The ‘smart’ fabric is wearable and remarkably, foldable, resisting typical pitfalls of wear and tear.

The test was performed using Nano Dimension’s unique AgCite™ Silver Nanoparticle conductive ink, which is currently undergoing improvement, and the DragonFly 2020 3D Printer platform used to create awe-inspiring multilayer PCBs which appear as thin and pliable as a sheet of paper.

Nano Dimension PCB
A Nano Dimension PCB

Nano Dimension collaborated with a leading functional textiles company for the project, but rumours of which company that might be are so far under wraps. This comes as no surprise however when compared to the fierce figures projected for the current  ‘smart’ textile market, valued today at estimated at $800 million and expected to reach $4.72 billion by 2020.

Since the beginning of 2016, Nano Technology has been hitting the industry with almost monthly press releases, fully cementing its potential as a key contender within 3D printing for nano-technology. In July, 3DPI journalist Michael Petch  took an in-depth look at the Israeli-based company, quizzing them on printing methods, how it is working in ‘The silicon valley of inkjet’, and looking at their projections for the future. To discover more about Nano Dimension, their ‘Factories in a box’ and 3D printing electronics you can revisit the article here.