3D Printing ProcessesDrones/UAVElectronicsMulti-material 3D printing

FrAMEwork platform launched by J.A.M.E.S

The first active community for additively manufactured electronics

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J.A.M.E.S., or ‘Jetted Additively Manufactured Electronics Sources’, has launched its FrAMEwork platform, globally, to bring together the growing community of designers of Additively Manufactured Electronics (AME).

This joint venture – between HENSOLDT and Nano Dimension – was founded to advance the development of AME through a collaborative space that delivers technical know-how, design enablement, and challenges within a global, diverse community at all levels of expertise.

“Our mission is to provide a space where anyone across the globe can share stories and ideas about AME, exchange technical know-how and designs, and enjoy the benefits of real-time communication with AME enthusiasts and professionals,” said Andreas Müller, CEO of J.A.M.E.S. “AME enables new and visionary applications in electronics that cannot be realized with conventional electronics manufacturing, and we strive to enable members to explore new possibilities in 3D.”

In the 90-year history of printed circuit board manufacturing, the production process has remained lengthy, and purely subtractive, with a lot of material lost during the manufacturing process. AME leverages advanced manufacturing, and is more environmentally friendly, as material is only added where needed, and the waste is reduced enormously – an aspect surely to be developed further with the help of the FrAMEwork platform.

FrAMEwork platform launched by J.A.M.E.S. The first active community for additively manufactured electronics (AME).
Additively Manufactured Electronics (AME) offers the ability to 3D print the drone structure in one print, with the electronic parts directly included and embedded into the drone frame. This also allows for the typical wiring between the single electronic boards to be omitted – saving integration efforts and making the drone much lighter compared to if it were manufactured using traditional technologies.

AME benefits from an increasing availability of new materials, such as functional fluids (inks). J.A.M.E.S’ experience in AME design and processing comes through the use of the DragonFly AME 3D printer by Nano Dimension. This inkjet-based printer simultaneously 3D prints a dielectric-ink (photopolymer) and a highly conductive silver nano ink to produce 3D printed AME structures – allowing for each individual voxel (3D pixel) to be either conductive or non-conductive.

“However, this emerging technology can only be taken to a next technical readiness level if we are able to combine different processes, materials, and design methods,” said Andreas Salomon, CTO of J.A.M.E.S “This is exactly what J.A.M.E.S is ideally suited for – empowering members of the J.A.M.E.S Community to gain experience with inkjet, micro-dispensing, ceramic printing, aerosol printing, and all other processes currently on the market. Merging technologies is the future of AME with a huge potential to completely change the traditional way electronics are manufactured.”

The J.A.M.E.S team has gone beyond the limits of 3D-printed electronics. In various exploration projects, J.A.M.E.S engineers have designed and printed fully electrified 3D structures that already give an indication of where this technology is headed in the future.

One of the J.A.M.E.S team’s exploration projects was research into combining various electronics into a single 3D printed drone frame. The team combined a variety of components into the AME drone, including a flight controller, four motor controllers, and four motors – in one frame.

“This drone also demonstrates the possibilities of miniaturization with AME,” continued Müller. “Since AME 3D printers can print in microns, the size of the electronics can be significantly reduced while maintaining or exceeding current effectiveness.”

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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