Focusing on 3DMID
Yamori is the world’s smallest, highly integrated, industrial-grade, multi-stack LPWAN IoT device, enabling versatile sensor configurations and dramatically reducing the development effort for new networked products. 3D printed electronics enable space-saving integration of antenna structures into the package as well as their contacting. The antennas were printed on the FAPS using a 5-axis system without contact. First, the polycarbonate substrate is plasma-treated to improve wetting during the subsequent printing process. Then, the NFC antenna on the floor and LoRa and NB-IoT antenna on the walls are fabricated with silver nanoparticle ink using the aerosol jet process. Printing on the angled surfaces requires complex tool path planning to avoid collisions. In addition, a light-ink system is used to prevent the ink from running on the slanted surfaces.
What is 3DMID capable of in the future?
Molded interconnect devices or mechatronic integrated devices (MID) are injection-molded plastic components with metallic conductor tracks applied using special processes, which serve as circuit carriers for electronic or mechatronic assemblies. The main areas of application for MID technology are automotive engineering, industrial automation, medical technology, the household appliance industry, telecommunications technology, measurement and analysis technology, and aerospace. The market volume of MID technology is subject to constant growth.
The advantages of MID technology lie both in improved design freedom and environmental compatibility, as well as in a rationalization potential with regard to the manufacturing process of the end product. The improved design freedom and the integration of electrical and mechanical functions in an injection molded part can lead to miniaturization of the assembly. In addition, new functions can be realized and any desired shapes can be designed. The rationalization potentials lie in the reduction of the number of parts (material savings) and the shortening of the process chains. Furthermore, reliability can be increased by reducing the number of assembly steps.
Since IoT products in particular will become increasingly complex in the future, 3DMID technology will play a key role in the realization of highly integrated IoT devices.