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56 The PCB Design Magazine • August 2017 it is important to get the dosage right and avoid the need to remove excess material. What would be your top tips for deciding on the best material for an individual application? For an interface material, the bond line thickness needs to be as thin as possible to min- imise thermal resistance. For a gap filling mate- rial, the dimensions of the gap need to be con- sidered and the conditions of use evaluated to decide whether a curing or non-curing product would be best in terms of the physical stability of the material and the ability for it to stay in place. In all cases, the operating temperature range and environmental conditions of the applica- tion need to be reviewed. If very high tempera- tures are expected, a silicone may be required, and if the assembly is subject to rework, then a non-bonding, non-curing product should be used. If thermal protection is localised to one component, a curing product is the better choice as it will avoid migration of the material to neighbouring components. There's a lot to consider when choosing a thermal management material; getting it wrong could compromise the reliability of an elec- tronic assembly and shorten its life expectancy. It's strongly advisable to do your calculations, consider the equipment's operational and en- vironmental conditions and experiment – but first and foremost, seek some expert advice as there are thermal management materials which might solve your requirements more sufficient- ly. I hope this first column has been useful and of course, we are always happy to help and offer advice. In the meantime, look out for my col- umn on thermal management, which will ap- pear next month. PCBDESIGN Jade Bridges is the global technical support manager for Electrolube Ltd. THERMAL MANAGEMENT: THE HEAT IS ON Places were in high demand for the Additive Manufacturing conference, which was held for Danish manufacturing companies in spring 2017. Additive manufacturing covers manufacturing technologies that involve building up components in layers by depositing material. This can be done by means of several different methods, one of them being 3D printing. And the significant lev- el of interest is not confined to Denmark, but is growing everywhere. In recent years, there has been a lot of hype surrounding 3D printing, but that is beginning to fade, says David Bue Pedersen, who holds Den- mark's first PhD in 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing, and who is a postdoc at DTU Mechan- ical Engineering: "People are finally coming to terms with what 3D printing can actually be used for. Several years ago, the mass media was pre- dicting that 3D printing would replace all forms of production, which couldn't have been more wrong. 3D printing is just one technology out of many whereby companies can work with Additive manufacturing." Additive manufacturing opens up three partic- ularly interesting possibilities for companies: fast- er and less cost-intensive product development, products tailored to the individual customer (also called customizing), and local production. Pedersen has just completed a three-year re- search project where, together with a large Danish enterprise, he has been testing 3D printing tech- nology as an innovation tool at the company. "We have been working with 3D printing to make the injection moulding of plastic more flexible. This will enable the company to develop new products faster and more cheaply," says Pedersen. Before, it was 3D Printing: Now Additive Manufacturing is the New Black

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