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Florida-based microdosing specialist nScrypt has announced its latest innovation in additive manufacturing: the ability to 3D print multi-axis electronics onto curved and irregular surfaces.
With its SmartPump micro-dispensing tool head, the company demonstrated the new capability by 3D printing its own n-shaped logo on a computer mouse.
The achievement means that nScrypt systems will now be able to conformally 3D print electronic parts such as circuit connections, antennas, strain gauges and sensors directly onto substrates of any shape. The company expects to find new uses for implantable medical devices, UAVs, sensor systems, helmets, wearables and more.
Dr. Ken Church, CEO of nScrypt, explains: “These new features allow our customers to throw an object like a mouse or a coke bottle into our machine and print it with multiple axes in minutes, not days, conforming to the surface in a minimum Workload. The applications of printed electronics are groundbreaking and practically unlimited. “
The nScrypt factory in one tool portfolio
nScrypt has made a name for itself in the field of microdosing with its extensive range of Factory in a Tool (FiT) 3D printers, which include the 3Dn series, the 3Dn DDM series and the nRugged system. FiT systems leverage multi-head tool change technology and are designed to serve as an all-in-one manufacturing machine, providing users with 3D printing, milling, polishing, pick-and-place, and post-processing capabilities.
Each of the machines is compatible with the company’s entire tool head suite, including the SmartPump, making them well suited for manufacturing in sectors such as electronics, defense, aerospace, energy, bioprinting, and more.
Earlier this year, in March, nScrypt reached 6-axis 3D printing with its 3Dn-Axis FiT 3D printer, which gives users a new level of geometric control when designing parts. For this purpose, three additional axes of movement have been integrated into the machine: the RS axis for rotating the tool head, the RT axis for tilting the tool head and the RR axis for rotating the print bed.
Recently, the company also released its new 3D printing machine control software, nStudio. As the next generation of nScrypt’s older software offering, nStudio comes with several advanced features such as an option to stop after scanning, improved ROI scan path speed and a new graduated cylinder tool.
Compliant 3D printing with the SmartPump
To demonstrate the new compliant 3D printing capabilities, the nScrypt team first scanned the surface of the mouse to create a mesh. Then the company’s nStudio software was used to project a DXF file onto the mesh and calculate the surface normals. The software layered the path scanning over the calculated surface normals and ensured that the distance remained constant over the entire projected tool path.
Just before the nScrypt logo was printed on the mouse, the team applied filters to the scan and paths to ensure there were no visible layer lines on the printed logo, resulting in a perfect, microdosed “n” on the mouse led.
The compliant 3D printing feature has been incorporated into three of the nScrypt systems: the 3Dx-700 (3Dn-axis), the 5-axis trunnion table top, and the 3Dn-4-axis option.
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The picture shown shows the 3Dn-1000 3D printer. Photo via nScrypt.