The Manufacturing Technology Centre – home of the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing – has become the first research and development centre in the UK to install precision equipment to allow 3D printing of small and complex electronic components.
The Coventry-based MTC has taken delivery of a Nano Dimension DragonFly LDM precision additive manufacturing system. The new equipment will allow the production of small-scale electronic components used in smart connected devices, as well as multi-layer printed circuit boards and sensors.
The technology will be available to all MTC clients, to allow them to take advantage of the speed and cost benefits of the rapid prototyping of electronic components.
MTC technology director Ken Young said the technology further pushed the boundaries of additive manufacturing capability.
“We will use this equipment for advanced applications development, including the production of devices requiring increasingly complex features, high geometric intricacy and very small dimensions. This innovative technology will complement our existing world-leading additive manufacturing capabilities and extend our industry footprint further into the revolutionary research and commercialisation of manufacturing electronic components in this way,” he said.
The DragonFly LDM printing technology is the industry’s only comprehensive additive manufacturing platform for 3D printing of electronic circuitry.
The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.
The centre aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.