M3D Technology Ideal for Depositing Conductive Structures

Albuquerque, New Mexico 8 August 2006: The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Applied Materials Research (IFAM) has recently taken delivery of its first M3D system from Optomec. IFAM undertakes research and development work in Shaping and Functional Materials and Industrial Bonding. The M3D system enables IFAM to print conductive structures for different electronic applications, including the development of 3D smart structures. Dr. Ingo Wirth, IFAM Project Manager states, “In the near future we will be also using our M3D system to print biological structures and cells.” IFAM is one of Europe’s largest neutral and independent research facilities and is one of 58 members of the non-profit Fraunhofer Society.

The M3D process developed and patented by Optomec involves aerosolizing a nanoparticle conductive ink and then forming an aerodynamically focused jet of the ink droplets. The droplet stream is deposited at specific locations on a substrate through CAD/CAM control. The CAD/CAM control allows the locations and resistance values to be determined from the CAD file, which eliminates the need for creating screens or stencils and eliminates trimming requirements. Since the M3D system is a CAD driven process, the initial setup costs are lower and design cycle times are reduced. This makes the M3D system a cost-effective solution for printing conductive structures.

Optomec’s M3D system is used in the development and fabrication of next generation microelectronic devices. The M3D system can also be used to repair production defects and legacy electronics, and further has the flexibility to be used for life science and biomedical applications. The functional electronics produced by the M3D system can have line widths and pattern features as small as 10 microns, and as large as 100 microns or more.

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing systems for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Biomedical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s proprietary M3D aerosol-jetting technology and LENS® powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of industry-leading manufacturers.

LENS is a registered trademark of Sandia Corporation.