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February 2016 • The PCB Magazine 27 Matties: What's the greatest challenge? Fried: The challenge is the materials. We're using silver inks which are far too expensive for mass production. They're very price competitive if you're talking about the prototyping space where there's no set up, there is no waste, and it's on the spot. If you have very small batches of very com- plex PCBs, you might consider printing them this way. One-offs and prototypes by all means, but if you're talking about tens or twenties then you're already into a space where the traditional manu- facturing approach is going to have a significant competitive advantage in terms of cost. Matties: Would someone need solder mask or some sort of coating for this? Fried: There's no need for the solder mask for two reasons. One is that when printing with silver, there's no oxidation issue at all, so that issue is removed. The other thing that we do is simply add another layer of the dielectric mate- rial on top, leaving the pads open. That's anoth- er step that we cut out. The only process that's happening here is depositing the dielectric and the conductive materials. At the end of it you have no drilling, no need for coating, and you have no post processing. It comes out of the printer and it's ready to go. Matties: What can someone expect to pay for the unit? Fried: The unit hasn't been publicly priced. We have a price goal of "less than $200,000." A sim- ilar precision regular material enterprise inkjet 3D printer from the big players in the 3D space is normally a six-figure printer. Matties: If someone was to test the technology, how do they go about doing that? Fried: In terms of testing the technology, what we're doing is we're working with serious in- dustry partners at the moment who will test them and make sure that for the purposes of a range of industries, whether it's aerospace, de- fense, telecom, automotive, it meets not only their needs in terms of specification, but also the ways that they work. Does it fit into their routine? Is the software user-friendly and is it comfortable? Is it intuitive, and so on? We must make sure of all those things before we launch the product. We'll be releasing informa- tion about case studies as time progresses for those that really want to get a more detailed insight into the end product. Matties: I think a lot of people would be extremely interested in that. Fried: Absolutely. It's a very conservative industry and it's a binary world that either works or not. The burden of proof is on us to make sure this thing works and that's precisely what we're doing. Matties: What's the response been to the technol- ogy? Fried: The response has been phenomenal. I think this is a clear example of a very applicable solution where there's a clear pain point in terms of the designers out there who are sitting around waiting for their PCB to get back so they can get on with testing. With the current pressures in terms of time to market, development cycles and minimizing the risk of making a change to a PCB, this is really a Godsend in terms of chang - ing the way in which you go about innovating and progressing the product that you have in- printing pCbs...in your offiCe! 3D printed PCB from nano Dimension.

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