Optomec’s Aerosol Jet 5X 3D printing system to accelerate Samsung Electronics production

Samsung Electronics is enabling next-generation electronics production with the commission of an Aerosol Jet 5X System from New Mexico metal additive manufacturing specialist Optomec.

This 5-axis system is equipped with advanced vision and process controls and is designed to produce 3D printed electronics such as antennas, sensors, and Molded Interconnect Devices (MIDs) with features ranging from 10 microns to millimeters.

The Optomec Aerosol Jet 5X System. Photo via Optomec.
The Optomec Aerosol Jet 5X System. Photo via Optomec.

Aerosol Jet Printing technology

Optomec’s Aerosol Jet Printing (AJP) is a technique for manufacturing interconnects on both 2D and 3D substrates. This eliminates the need for wire bonding – for example, printing electrical connections on 3D stacked die or for LED chip fabrication. Furthermore, a print module is integrated into AJP systems for high-resolution electronic circuits and devices for rapid prototyping, product development, and low volume production.

The AJP process forms structures using small ink like droplets of metals. The company is also the creator of LENS 3D printing technique that uses lasers to sinter metal powders. Earlier this year, Optomec released new standalone systems with this technology, the LENS CS 600 and CS 800.

As a result of its technologies, Optomec’s customer portfolio includes GEBoeing, and the aircraft manufacturer, United Technologies, the Additive Manufacturing Facility of ARDECUniversity of NebraskaNASA, and the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Optomec stacked die electronics 3D printing. Photo via Optomec
Optomec stacked die electronics 3D printing. Photo via Optomec.

3D printed electronics 

Previously, a team at Draper Laboratory, based in Massachusetts, replicated a part of a wireless Bluetooth transceiver with an Optomec aerosol jet printer. In addition, researchers from Washington State University 3D printed structures resembling the intricate framework of a natural desert rose with AJP technology.

Elsewhere, Samsung Electronics has ventured into additive manufacturing through a collaboration with Energica, the manufacturer of the Energica Ego – Italy’s first street-legal electric motorcycle with 3D printed parts. The partners’ Smart Ride Project led to the development of the Bolid-E motorcycle which includes 3D printed components such as front and back headlights and tail light supports.

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Featured image shows Aerosol jet printed part of a Bluetooth microprocessor. Photo via Draper Laboratory.