The hype around 3D printing technology is swiping across the globe, and it isn’t unfounded as this technology undoubtedly shows tremendous potential. With that said, can you use a 3D printer to make electronics? This idea of this being achieved at the moment might look like a novelty, but is it? If you want further insight into this matter, you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, you’ll get to see the flexibility that 3D printers offer in your journey towards creating new electronic products and hardware. And with consumers having higher expectations with the release of new electronics from smart home systems, smartphones to wearables, could 3D printing be a solution in the future?
Well, let’s dive in to understand why manufacturers are also gradually switching to 3D printers when making electronics.
Why Use 3D Printing With Consumer Electronic?
You can now think of the production of electronic components not only in 2D but also in terms of 3D design, and this involves new methods of heaping circuits. This innovation opens up the door to new design possibilities for electronics, which are new to explore.
The best part of 3D printing when it comes to creating electronic components is its customization capabilities. This is because you can make 3D objects perfectly suited to any electronic gadget or circuit board. You can also use 3D printing to make keyboards, USB stick cases, and personalized electronic closures.
3D printing also provides you great flexibility when it comes to creating a particular design. Thanks to this technology, you can now make complex geometries that wouldn’t have been attainable with traditional manufacturing methods. Moreover, 3D printing allows you to make many parts that don’t need any assembly process.
Safeguard Your Intellectual Property
After designing and sharing a fabrication, you stand the risk of your design getting stolen or tampered with by malicious individuals. This is further facilitated by fraudulent overseas manufacturers who claim to help safeguard intellectual property but are, in actual sense exposing your new designs to your rivals before launching your product in the market.
Such challenges aren’t something you should experience when using 3D printers to make electronics. This is because with everything being done in-house, you have greater control over your design’s security and product quality. Thanks to this, the consumer electronics spaces, which are characterized by stiff competition, ensure customers always get high-quality products.
3D printing is also gaining traction in the electronic space since it enables you to have an idea about a product within a few days. If you use the online 3D printing service by Sculpteo, you’re in a position to design casings of exceptional quality for gadgets with a great level of detail.
These casings would be a perfect match for your electronic components, including the circuit board. Moreover, 3D printing processes have made rapid prototyping easier, and as a result, this enables you to make the best product designs.
Pretest, Test, And Redesign
Unlike other manufacturing processes, additive manufacturing is unique in that the costs and time involved aren’t linked to how complex making the product is. It instead only relies on the weight of materials that are being placed on the gadget. Therefore, the fabrication periods of finished products and prototypes are very much predictable.
When making complicated electronic gadgets such as multilayer PCBs, 3D printings remove barriers such as pressing, repetitive itching, and final steps during fabrication and drilling. Therefore, using an appropriate 3D printing technique and process guarantees a fully-functional board will be printed in a shorter duration than with traditional manufacturing.
The printing of many complex PCBs also only takes a couple of hours instead of days or weeks. This is different from traditional manufacturing techniques where you need to wait for such durations for a bunch of panelized boards. You can choose to print several variants in parallel or a single board with additive manufacturing and then test them right away.
This effective approach allows you to detect any functionality issue instantly. Consequently, you’ll establish the needed redesigns, which helps lower the development duration for new electronics.
Unveil Your First Series
3D printing could greatly benefit the electronics industry in many ways. This is because it doesn’t need a minimum number of units, stock, and guarantees a short turnaround. Furthermore, this applies regardless of your product life cycle management.
Therefore, electronic production has been made easier thanks to 3D printing technology, and is thereby improving and simplifying the entire supply chain management.
The relationship between electronics and 3D printing is strongly interconnected. This is because 3D printing enables you to form a new type of relationship with your customers. As a result, this allows you to quickly make spare parts in small batches, limited editions as well as small series.
This applies regardless if you want a single prototype or thousands of units since the 3D printing benefits from our expertise to make the best quality product and our experience we’ve amassed over the years.
Make Your Design A Lot More Flexible
Incorporating adaptable designs is the central premise behind adopting agile design and development processes both for software and hardware. This is vital because it gives the design team to rapidly adjust their products to suit the customer’s requirements or cucumber’s taste in a shorter duration and less time.
Therefore, all this is determined by being able to assess and triage designs hastily to complex products. This is something that would have taken weeks if you decide to use the traditional PCB prototyping runs.
The use of 3D printers in other industries for many is something that seems achievable. However, the same can’t be said when it comes to making electronics through additive manufacturing.
This thought is one that many skeptics rendered impossible. And whereas it’s still not there yet, 3D printing is proving to be valid even when making electronics.
Reading through this comprehensive article has highlighted the benefits to expect when using 3D printers to make electronics in case you had any doubts.