The ability to print material in 3D has grown in popularity over the last several years. It is now possible for a consumer to purchase a reasonably priced 3D printer for themselves, while manufacturers can directly create just about any shape necessary. Due to this, manufacturing electronics with 3D printing allows for new ways to integrate circuits. Gone are the days where external case designs must be created around the circuitry, but instead it is the other way around.
How 3D Printing Works
To print in 3D, the printer sets down small layers of plastic, continually building off of the previous layer. Better 3D printers create smaller layers and have more precise tips. This allows for greater detail in the print process. The printer is connected to a computer system running a CAD program. While using a CAD software, you create a 3D rendering of the final product within the software. The print job is then taken from this rendering.
Using CAD To Product Circuits
One of the major benefits regarding the use of CAD software is not it’s ability to send print information to a connected 3D printer. It is its ability to show how different elements of a finished product can fit together. This way, you can create different circuits and bend the circuit boards until everything can fit together nicely. By seeing the rendering in 3D as every small change is performed, you can identify mistakes or ways to improve upon the closely knit circuit. From here, printing the individual circuits for integration together is easily done.
The Benefit of Creating Integrated Circuits
With the ability to produce circuits that fit inside of a particular device instead of the other way around, it allows for the shrinking of computer hardware. Computers, televisions, tablets and other devices are able to be smaller than ever before due to this capability. As microprocessors continue to shrink in size, it still requires a circuit small enough to house it. For now, 3D printing remains the very best option.
Industries Taking Advantage
Just about every industry that relies on technology is taking advantage of this ability to change the configuration of circuits. This includes the medical industry, as devices uses within the human body can be smaller. Whether the implant is for a pacemaker or something to assist in how a person sees, smaller electronics makes for smaller incisions, improving recovery time.