Research

nScrypt provides Factory in a Tool platform for advanced ceramics research

nScrypt, a Florida-based manufacturer of micro-dispensing and 3D printing equipment, has delivered and installed one of its Factory in a Tool (FiT) machines to France’s Center for Technology Transfers in Ceramics (CTTC). 

Leveraging nScrypt’s 3Dn-Tabletop system, CTTC plans to 3D print fine conductive lines conformally on various substrates, as part of the company’s electronics materials project: “We selected nScrypt’s 3Dn-Tabletop machine,” explains Dr. Olivier Durand, CTTC’s CEO, “because it meets the needs of our electronics materials project and it expands our technological portfolio of Direct Writing Printers.”

A small size phased array antenna. Image via nScrypt.
A small size phased array antenna. Image via nScrypt.

What is Factory in a Tool?

Headquartered in Limoges, France, CTTC aims to nurture innovation in the field of advanced ceramics, providing technological solutions for developing new products and services for its partners.  Its main operations center on collaborative research projects with public research laboratories, while also supporting industrial projects in the fields of high performance ceramics, ceramics manufacturing processes, and additive manufacturing for ceramics and multimaterial components.

CTTC selected nScrypt’s 3Dn-Tabletop FiT system to help in its electronics materials project, enabling printing on conformal surfaces. nScrypt was awarded a patent in 2018 for a micro additive manufacturing method capable of 3D printing onto a range of shaped surfaces.

nScyrpt’s FiT systems combine microdispensing, material extrusion, micro-milling, and pick and place tool heads with multiple cameras, for autonomous, hybrid manufacturing. They leverage the company’s trademark micro-dispensing additive manufacturing technology, which involves depositing droplets of ink in volumes of less than one microliter. This process facilitates multi-material 3D printing and the fabrication of Printed Circuit Structure (PCS) devices. 

The FiT machines leverage nScrypt’s patented SmartPump microdispensing tool head, which can dispense more than 10,000 commercially available materials with volume control up to 20 picoliters. Last week, using a new conical pen tip on the SmartPump tool head, nScrypt announced it had successfully 3D printed solder and adhesive dots in the 50-micron range.

“This machine’s SmartPump can microdispense more than 10,000 commercially available material,” comments nScrypt’s CEO, Ken Church. “We have sold machines to many universities and labs around the world, and we are honored that an organization as respected and technologically advanced as CTTC has selected our platform for precision microdispensing of conductive materials.”  

“This machine is perfect for printing electronic materials, conformally on virtually any surface.”

nScrypt SmartPump. Image via nScrypt.
nScrypt SmartPump. Image via nScrypt.

The applications of nScrypt’s 3D printing technology

nScrypt’s 3Dn series includes a smaller table top model, and various larger versions including the 3Dn-300, 3Dn-500 and 3Dn-1000. The company has delivered a total of 6 FiT systems to multiple Army bases and labs, including a 3Dn-1000 machine to the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal base in Alabama for manufacturing phased array antennas.

nScrypt’s microdispensing technology has also found various applications in the electronics industry, with an undisclosed electronics manufacturer using the SmartPump on its factory floor. The firm also showcased examples of Radio Frequency (RF) Printed Circuit Structures (PCS) made from one of its Factory in a Tool (FiT) systems at RAPID + TCT 2019. 

Furthermore, nScrypt is involved in the development of bioprinting technology, having worked with spaceflight equipment developer Techshot to manufacture the 3D BioFabrication Facility (BFF) bioprinter and launch it aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The company has also taken part in the 4D Bio3 program, which aims to develop advanced bioprinting, biofabrication, and biomanufacturing technologies for research beneficial to Department of Defense (DoD) priorities. This involved developing a modified version of its BFF system, called the Austere BioAssembly Tool (ABAT). 

The nominations for the 2020 3D Printing Industry Awards are now open. Who do you think should make the shortlists for this year’s show? Have your say now. 

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