Photo courtesy of Nagarjun Kandukuru - Creative Commons Flickr

Photo courtesy of Nagarjun Kandukuru – Creative Commons Flickr

 

Printed Circuit Board Assembly Services are becoming more and more prevalent as 3D Printing, or “Additive Manufacturing”, expands its capabilities.  The industry is seeing an exciting trend emerge as 3D printers are increasingly being used for printed circuit board assemblies, or PCB assemblies.  This innovation is of particular interest to Electro Soft, Incorporated, and our customers.

The new PCB Assemblies offer several key benefits:

  • Efficiency: Producing PCB prototypes on a 3D printer in-house reduces turnaround time.
  • Cost: Printing small volume prototypes in–house creates a cost saving.
  • Intellectual Property: Producing prototypes on a 3D printer limits the exposure of intellectual property/design, which may afford additional protection, especially in the international arena.
  • Troubleshooting: The ease of creating the 3D PCB prototype means that designs can be tweaked and reprinted as needed.

As more manufacturers enter the 3D printer market, competition is driving prices down and making this cutting edge equipment more affordable. Currently, key industry players in the field include Voltera, BotFactory, and Nano Dimension.

Electro Soft, Incorporated, President Jim Wallace comments on the implications of the trend:  “Most of our clients come to us with solid designs, but in 10% of the cases, we are asked for quick turnarounds on small quantity prototypes. Having a 3D printer in–house would enhance our consultative approach with our customers. By removing the PCB supplier from the value chain, we are able to lower cost. By using conductive nano-filament, we can drive down the price for prototypes and turnaround to customers, delivering better service at a lower price.” 

 

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