Optomec, a world leader in Additive Manufacturing Systems, has introduced a new method for 3D printing antennas directly onto injection molded plastics, e.g electronics, mobile devices, cellphone, iPhone, case, body, design.
These days, mobile devices are in everyone’s reach. Although the make and design of these devices may be different, they’re all unified by a few key components, among them is the antenna. Usually the antennas are incorporated inside one of the device’s chips or as a stand-alone component of the phone. Optomec has announced that their new high volume Aerosol Jet technology will allow the printing of “conformal antennas using conductive nanoparticle silver inks, as in, Phone manufacturers can print directly onto the body of their mobile devices.
With this technology, the mobile devices will be able to function even better with increasingly smaller devices and the manufacturers would be able to further satisfy the customers. However, Optomec wants to take a step forward towards a time when complete electronic components can be printed directly onto the products surface. If circuits could be printed onto your, say, water bottle, couldn’t it be used as a mobile device? What if your water bottle could display a real-time map of where you’re jogging and maybe even show you your text messages mid-sprint. 3D printed electronics could lead to the development of contextually appropriate mobile devices that deliver information tailored to a situation.
But for now, Optomec’s technology is an interesting step towards more customizable and easily produced electronics. Where it might extend is anyone’s guess.
(via Wonderful Engineering)