October 23, 2014 – San Jose, Calif. – FlexTech Alliance announced today the awarding of a development agreement to nScrypt and NovaCentrix for a next-generation three-dimensional (3D) printing tool for creating complex and functional objects. The total award of $1,291,000 will be cost-shared between the organizations over a 12 month period. FlexTech partners with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, which has a keen interest in 3D printing for rapid prototyping of new electronic devices and components.
Currently available 3D printers are typically limited to the printing of one or two materials. This tool will be able to additively build integrated hybrid circuits on 3D surfaces, as well as devices on flexible, low temperature, and rigid planar substrates. The tool will seamlessly integrate multiple existing tools into one complimentary system. It will have 5 heads including 1 pick and place unit, 3 micro-dispensing pump heads, 1 fused deposition head, and 1 photonic curing unit. The tool will be able to print, switch dispensing materials, and cure, all at speeds beyond today’s fastest rates and without changing inks.
“The teaming of nScrypt and NovaCentrix on this project is optimal for a successful outcome,” notes Michael Ciesinski, president and CEO of FlexTech Alliance. “nScrypt has already created some of the most advanced 3D printing tools, while NovaCentrix is consistently introducing tools which are enabling the printed electronics revolution.”
“At nScrypt, we know that 3D printing is a truly disruptive technology and, even though initially expensive and challenging, the promise of flexibility and cost savings will drive adoption,” adds Kenneth Church, CEO of nScrypt. “FlexTech funding allows nScrypt, where we have been working on digital printing for more than 15 years, and NovaCentrix to combine our expertise and demonstrate why 3D digital printing is a game-changing manufacturing process.”
“This ground-breaking integrated unit is the next step in what we see as the inevitable convergence of printed electronics and 3D fabrication. The portfolio of materials able to be used in 3D fabrication will expand dramatically, and active electronics can be designed into structures in ways never-before possible,” said Stan Farnsworth, vice president of marketing at NovaCentrix. “We laud FlexTech for the vision and organizational efforts in bringing this project to fruition, and the team at nScrypt for their engineering capability and deposition expertise.”
This system will be the first commercially available 3D additive manufacturing system capable of constructing functional monolithic 3D devices, able to realize a designer’s vision from art to part. Additionally, it is likely to meet the needs of a variety of industrial customers interested in additive manufacturing of electronic sub-components and devices such as antennae, touch sensors, or circuits for cell phones, and other molded parts made from limited thermal stability plastics parts. This is the beginning of small lot manufacturing, but this is also the first tool that will easily transition to multi-nozzle systems for high volume mass customization and cyberfacturing.
About FlexTech Alliance
FlexTech Alliance is devoted to fostering the growth, profitability and success of the flexible, printed electronics supply chain, and the many application areas enabled by this new class of electronics products. FlexTech offers its members expanded collaboration with industry, academia and research organizations. To learn more, visit www.flextech.org or call us at 408.577.1300.
NovaCentrix, based in Austin, Texas, is a leader in printed electronics manufacturing technologies. The state-of-the-art PulseForge® photonic curing tools dry, sinter, and anneal functional inks in milliseconds on low-temperature, flexible substrates such as paper and plastic. The tools process a wide array of metal-based conductive inks, as well as non-metallic and semiconductor inks, and are available with the integrated material and tool simulation package SimPulse™ NovaCentrix also offers high-performance, economical Metalon® and PChem conductive inks, including the innovative and award-winning ICIcopper-oxide reduction inks which work optimally with PulseForge tools. NovaCentrix also offers printing services with our in-house inkjet, screen, and flexographic presses. To learn more, please visit www.novacentrix.com.
nScrypt is an advanced technology company focused on micro-dispensing a wide range of materials for electronic packaging and 3D printing. The Orlando, Florida, based company sells micro-dispensing systems ready for microelectronics, biomedical and tissue engineering applications. The product line-up includes the SmartPump™ and the nFD Pump™ and extensive experience in dispensing applications with a wide range of materials with line-widths of less than 50 microns and dots of 75 microns. Printed conformal antennas on low temperature substrates or small epoxy lines and dots for micro packaging are standard applications for these systems. Learn more at www.nscrypt.com.
Heidi Hoffman, Senior Director
heidi.hoffman (at) flextech.org
Beth Brownell, Vice President
bbrownell (at) nscrypt.com
Stan Farnsworth, Vice President
Stan.farnsworth (at) novacentrix.com