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Design007-Jan2020

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JANUARY 2020 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 95 Summary To summarize, Taleb suggests that black swan events are events that meet three ba- sic criteria. First, they are surprises and not generally viewed as predictable by the aver- age individual. Second, they normally have a significant and even profound effect on any given group, from a society to an industry. Third, their occurrence is normally rational- ized by hindsight, and it is often treated as if it was expected. In short, if we expect the un- expected, when change arrives, we can all say, "I was certain change was coming. I just didn't know when." FLEX007 Joe Fjelstad is founder and CEO of Verdant Electronics and an international authority and innovator in the field of electronic interconnection and packaging technologies with more than 185 patents issued or pending. To read past columns or contact Fjelstad, click here. Battery performance is the result of numerous different factors. Electrochemists know only too well how delicate this balancing act is. Where are the big improvements we need likely to come from? We now have an answer of sorts: batteries of the future will be made via 3D printing, say Vladimir Egorov at the University of Cork in Ireland, and a few colleagues. These folks have surveyed the various new printing techniques for batteries and suggest that this will make possible a new generation of smaller, more capable devices. Materials scientists have also begun to experiment with ways to print electronic circuits using polymer inks and a silver polymer for traces, so soldering is no longer needed. However, a significant limitation is the need to in- corporate conventional batteries, which come in specific sizes and shapes. The ability to print 3D batteries will change that. "If they can be printed to seamlessly integrate into the prod- uct design, for aesthetic as well and comfort or functional reasons, the bulkier and fixed form factor standard bat- tery need not be accommodated at the product design stage," say Egorov and company. This is easier said than done. The electroactive mate- rials used in batteries are inherently reactive, and struc- tures such as anodes and cathodes are physically com- plex. Most important of all, batteries must be safe. One of the biggest and most important challenges for the battery industry is in making its products recyclable. The flexibil- ity that 3D printing allows has the potential to kick-start and accelerate this much-needed revolution. (Source: MIT) Is 3D Printing the Future of Battery Design? reliable than the ones being made today. First proposed in 2007, the Occam process represents a potential electronics industry "black swan" technology, quietly being devel- oped and refined. It is one that could greatly and positively impact the cost, reliability, and environmental friendliness of electronics man- ufacturing by simply eliminating the soldering process. The concept has proven intriguing to many over the last several years, but new con- cepts are not always openly welcome because of their disruptive nature. For those interested, download Solderless Assembly For Electronics: The SAFE Approach—a free, educational book on the subject. Nature may favor evolution, but business tends to favor stability. Still, when new tech- nologies ultimately prove their ability to deliv- er on their promises—whether it's cost reduc- tion, improved performance (e.g., the integrat- ed circuit), or some other positive attribute— they can have a compelling and profound effect on the industry.

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