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Optomec

Optomec (19)

Optomec announced the availability of the latest member of its 3D printer family, the Aerosol Jet 5X system for printing 3D electronics. The system delivers the precision and flexibility required to produce high resolution 3D printed electronics such as conformal antennas, sensors, and circuits used in consumer electronics, automotive, aerospace and medical applications.  Equipped with an Optomec Sprint® Print Module and a 5 axis coordinated motion platform, the Aerosol Jet 5X system is ideally suited for 3D printed micro-electronics development applications.

The Aerosol Jet 5X system can also be optionally configured with an Optomec Marathon® Print Module extending the printers capabilities from prototyping to low volume production applications.  For high volume production applications, Optomec also offers a scalable version of the Marathon Print Module that can be configured with up to four print heads for integration into production platforms.
 
The advanced Aerosol Jet 5X platform was specifically developed to enable a new generation of lighter weight, high performance micro-electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets, and sensors. Aerosol Jet 5X systems are currently shipping with initial installations in North America.  
 
“Optomec continues to break through traditional manufacturing barriers by extending the advantages of 3D printing to advanced applications such as 3D printed electronics, and further showing the promise to be competitive in the production of cost-sensitive devices such as smart phones and the sensors driving the Internet of Things. With the Aerosol Jet 5X system, Optomec is enabling functional electronics to be readily integrated onto and within 3D structures in ways not previously imagined,” said Mike O’Reilly, Director Aerosol Jet Product Management at Optomec.

Using its patented material input and aerodynamic deposition capabilities, the Aerosol Jet 5X can print feature sizes ranging from 10 microns on up to millimeters in width. The system’s 5 axis motion platform  enables a print envelope of 200mm x 300mm x 200mm.The Aerosol Jet 5X supports a wide variety of functional materials, including conductive inks, dielectrics, polymers and adhesives and can deposit these materials on low temperature substrates enabling a  range of applications.

For more information, visit: www.optomec.com/additive-manufacturing/printed-electronics/aerosol-jet-printers/aerosol-jet-5x-system

Optomec announced availability of a new low-cost offering in its lineup of metal 3D Printers named the LENS 450. The LENS 450 is built on the same LENS core technology that is used throughout industry to repair, coat and rapidly manufacture a wide variety of high performance metal components. The system was developed specifically in response to growing industry interest in 3D Printing of metals, including the need to train a new generation of workers in metal additive manufacturing technology.

The first delivery of the LENS 450 3D Printer will be to the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science at the University of Pittsburgh, where it will be used in their new Advanced Manufacturing education program. Professor C. Isaac Garcia stated, “Re-establishing America’s global competitiveness is dependent upon a new generation of technicians and engineers trained in advanced manufacturing technologies. The LENS 450 system is an excellent tool to conduct basic and applied research, and for training students on industry proven technology for metal Additive Manufacturing.”

The LENS 450 3D Printer can process a wide variety of materials, including stainless steel, cobalt chrome, titanium and superalloys, making it ideally suited for rapid prototyping and repair of small metal components. The cost-effective system provides a 100mm^3 (64 cubic inch) work envelope within a class 1 laser enclosure that is hermetically sealed to maintain a pristine processing environment and operator safety. Additional features include a 400W fiber laser, powder feeder, motion control system, and proprietary part preparation and process control software.

Optomec is a privately held, rapidly growing supplier of Additive Manufacturing systems. These solutions utilize Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet Printed Electronics technology and LENS (Laser Engineered Net Shaping) Printed Metal technology to reduce costs and improve performance. Together, these unique 2D and 3D printing solutions work with the broadest spectrum of functional materials, ranging from electronic inks to structural metals and even biological matter. Optomec has more than 150 marquee customers around the world, targeting production applications in the Electronics, Energy, Life Sciences and Aerospace industries.

For more information, visit: www.optomec.com/Additive-Manufacturing-Systems/Laser-Additive-Manufacturing-Systems

Optomec announced today that Mike O'Reilly, Optomec Aerosol Jet Product Manager, will give a presentation titled "Scaling 3D Printed Electronics for Manufacturing" in the 3D Printing Track at the IDTechEx Conference. The conference will be held December 5-6 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California.

Mr. O'Reilly will discuss how increased demand for smaller, lighter weight end products with increased performance is driving the Electronics Industry from discrete to embedded electronics. For low volume military applications, electro-mechanical sub-assemblies or even complete devices may be manufactured entirely by 3D printing techniques. For higher volume applications, 3D Printed Electronics may be combined with traditional manufacturing techniques, such as injection molding, to produce smaller and lower cost end products. Mr. O'Reilly will discuss these trends and provide examples of 3D Printed Electronics application currently in early development within the Aerospace, Consumer Electronics and Automotive industries.

The Aerosol Jet process creates a highly collimated beam of material that remains tightly focused during its travel from the nozzle to the target substrate. The deposited features can be as small as 10 um or as large as several millimeters in a single pass. Additionally, a wide assortment of materials can be printed such as conductive nano-particle inks and conductive polymers, adhesives, ceramics, and bio-active materials. The nozzle direction and XYZ positioning is controlled by CAD/CAM software which allows conformal printing onto 2.5D substrates which have a high level of surface topography as well as full 3D surfaces. For example, electronic features can be printed onto 3D shapes or into trenches and vias. For more information on Aerosol Jet printing, click here.

The IDTechEx Printed Electronics conference and tradeshow is the world's largest on the topic and growing rapidly every year. The IDTechEx Printed Electronics tradeshow matches potential adopters with Printed Electronics solution providers. The conference program features a broad range of speakers from industry leaders in healthcare, packaging, advertising/media, military and more.

For more information, visit: www.idtechex.com/printed-electronics-usa/pe.asp

Optomec announced today that it will showcase Aerosol Jet systems for 3D printed electronics at the Defense Manufacturing Conference (DMC) being held at the Marriott Orlando World Center in Orlando, FL from November 26-29, 2012. Bill Macy, Application Development Lead at Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS), and Ken Vartanian, Marketing Director at Optomec, will deliver a joint presentation in the “Printed Electronics - Bringing New Solutions to DoD Applications” Track at 1:50 pm on Monday, November 26.

The presentation, “Capability Assessment of Hybrid Components Utilizing Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Aerosol Jet Technologies,” highlights how Stratasys, Optomec and Aurora Flight Sciences collaborated on a project to demonstrate how these technologies might be combined to print electronic structures including antennas, strain gauges, a power circuit, and a signal circuit directly onto the surface of a Stratasys 3D Printed wing structure. The presentation will explain the capabilities of the combined technologies, unique integration requirements, and current challenges. FDM is an additive manufacturing process that can build three dimensional parts out of high strength thermal plastics directly from a Computer Aided Design (CAD) model. Aerosol Jet is an additive manufacturing process that can deposit conductive inks and other electronic materials onto a wide variety of substrates including 3D surfaces. The combination of these two technologies has the potential to offer designers new options to produce highly integrated designs resulting smaller, lighter weight products.

The unique ability of Aerosol Jet systems to print fine line conformal circuitry on non planar surfaces is a key enabler for fully printed electronics on 3D surfaces. The relatively large stand-off, up to 5mm from the nozzle tip to the substrate, and high velocity particle stream enable the Aerosol Jet material deposition head to print on surfaces with inclines of up to 22.5 degrees without tilting the head. For a video demonstration of the UAV smart structure, click here.

DMC is the premier Defense Manufacturing and Industrial Base Conference in the country. Over 1,000 attendees are expected from the DOD, Services, large and small businesses, contractors, Civilian Agencies and Academia. This year’s conference will feature over 25 specialized Concurrent Sessions devoted to important manufacturing science, technology, engineering and business process topics.

For more information, visit: www.dmc2012.com

Optomec announced today that recently, CEA Liten (France), Innovation Lab (Germany), and the University of Sheffield (U.K.) have each independently selected and purchased Aerosol Jet deposition systems. The systems are used for the development of next generation technologies for electronic sensors and displays, 3D conformal electronic devices, fuel cells and solar cells, and other emerging printed electronics applications. With the addition of these marquee industrial labs, the total number of Optomec users in Europe now exceeds 40 leading institutions and corporations.
 
The Aerosol Jet system at CEA is located at PICTIC which is the first European platform entirely dedicated to printed electronics. Christophe Serbutoviez of CEA Liten states “The Aerosol Jet system plays a key role in ensuring the digital printing of fine traces of conductor and dielectric materials on flat and 3D surfaces. The system enables our customers to manufacture advanced printed CMOS devices, thermal sensors, and passive components such as RLC filters.”
 
Innovation Lab conducts varied research and development for member companies that include Merck, Roche and BASF. The Aerosol Jet system at Innovation Lab is used to develop new manufacturing processes for a number of different printed electronics applications. Kai Sudau of Innovation Lab states “Aerosol Jet systems offer the opportunity to deposit fluids that could otherwise mainly be processed using spin coating. The Aerosol Jet system enables us to create structured layers of these fluids rather than full layers.”
 
The Aerosol Jet system at the University of Sheffield is currently used to produce a series of photomask samples with positive and negative micro arrays on a glass substrate.  Conventional production methods are extremely complex and require special processing equipment.  The Aerosol Jet deposition system provides a more cost effective approach by directly printing the photomasks thereby eliminating many steps in current processes.  The University plans to use the Aerosol Jet systems to help solve a wide variety of printed electronics manufacturing challenges.
 
CEA is the European leader in the field of micro and nanotechnology bringing together fundamental research and technological innovation to develop intelligent miniaturized solutions for the information, communication and health industries. CEA Liten is the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives). CEA is active in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. CEA’s PICTIC (Research and Development of Printed Electronic Devices) platform is financially supported by the European Feder funds, Rhône Alpe Region and the CEA.
 
Innovation Lab GmbH (iL) is an application-oriented organization for research and knowledge transfer in science and business. Innovation lab is located in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region and is supported by the Universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim and by the companies BASF SE, Merck KGaA, Freudenberg & Co., Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, Roche Diagnostics GmbH and SAP AG.
 
The University of Sheffield has a wealth of expertise and facilities relevant to the development of powder-based manufacturing The Mercury Centre is a multi-million dollar industrially focused facility within the University of Sheffield. Through a combination of enabling research and knowledge exchange activities, the Mercury Centre is accelerating the manufacture of high-technology components across a range of sectors including advanced manufacturing, energy, health-care devices and electronics.
 
Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing solutions for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Solar, Medical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet Printed Electronics technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of more than 140 users including many industry-leading manufacturers.

For more information, visit: www.optomec.com

Optomec announced today that the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has purchased an Optomec Aerosol Jet system for developing printed energy devices. The Aerosol Jet system, which was installed at the RIT Brinkman Advanced Machine Tools Lab, will be used primarily to develop solid oxide fuel cells, batteries, photovoltaics, and other energy-related printed devices using advanced nano materials such as quantum dots.   RIT’s Aerosol Jet system was purchased in support of the Heterogeneous Functional Materials Center, an Energy Frontiers Research Center (EFRC) funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
 
RIT chose the Aerosol Jet system because of its unique ability to dynamically mix materials during the deposition process to produce functionally graded structures, its ability to deposit viscous inks, and its ability to print on non-planar surfaces.  Although RIT’s main emphasis is on solid oxide fuel cells, they have a broader interest in printed electronics. Dr. Denis Cormier, Professor at RIT states “Aerosol Jet printing allows for sensors to be embedded within energy devices to monitor temperature, strain, etc. This can provide important feedback during operation of the device. RIT is currently in the process of purchasing a NovaCentrix Pulseforge 3300 Photonic Curing system that will be located adjacent to the Aerosol Jet system. The combination of Aerosol Jet printing with photonic curing will allow us to print and then cure high temperature materials (metals and some ceramics) on low temperature substrates such as paper or plastic. We are very excited about the possibilities this will open up in the area of high performance printed electronics. We think that’s going to be a real win-win for both organizations since it will allow the Aerosol Jet process to be used for applications that previously weren’t feasible.”

Mike O’Reilly, Aerosol Jet Product Manager, states that “RIT is a driving influence within the emerging field of printed electronics. Through continued collaboration with Dr. Cormier and his research team we fully expect to advance printed electronics solutions to meet evolving 3D additive manufacturing requirements.”
 
Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing systems for high-performance applications in the Photovoltaic, Electronics, Biomedical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec's proprietary Aerosol Jet and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of industry-leading manufacturers.

For more information, visit: www.heterofoam.com or www.optomec.com/Additive-Manufacturing-Technology/Printed-Electronics

Optomec announced today that the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) has purchased an Optomec Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) system used for metal additive manufacturing applications. The LENS system, which has been installed at CCAT’s headquarters in East Hartford, Connecticut, will be primarily used to develop repair and hybrid manufacturing solutions for a broad range of industries.

The Optomec LENS 850-R System will provide CCAT’s Laser Applications Lab with the capability to address emerging challenges in the field of additive manufacturing. Dr. Tom Maloney, Director of Technology, Research and Applications Initiative and Principal Investigator of the National Aerospace Leadership Initiative (NALI), states, “LENS has already proven itself as a powerful tool for use in repair and refurbishment applications. We intend to build upon this success to create solutions that will provide the means to both accelerate and validate these processes, and will, together with our Machining Applications Lab, develop hybrid machining techniques that explore how currently insular processes may be combined to provide cost, quality and time benefits.”

Optomec's LENS Additive Manufacturing systems are used to cost-effectively fabricate, enhance, and repair high-performance metal components in materials such as titanium, stainless steel, and Inconel®. LENS systems use the energy from a high-power laser to build up structures one layer at a time directly from powdered metals. The resulting fully functional 3-dimensional components have excellent mechanical properties, equivalent to forged components for many applications. LENS systems can be used throughout the entire product lifecycle for applications ranging from Materials Research to Functional Prototyping.

Dave Ramahi, Optomec President/CEO, states that “CCAT is a state-of-the-art facility that is breaking new ground in the development of additive manufacturing and repair techniques. The LENS 850-R system combined with CCAT’s renowned expertise will help advance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.”

CCAT combines expertise in cutting-edge manufacturing technology with specialized centers of excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, workforce strategy and alternative energy solutions. CCAT’s goal is to help organizations increase efficiencies, improve workforce development and boost competitiveness. The organization promotes partnerships between industry, academia and government to create a new collaborative framework for tackling 21st century economic challenges. CCAT is actively involved in researching and field-testing how advances in lasers, nanotechnology, computational modeling and additive manufacturing can aid the competitive needs of U.S. industry.

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

For more information, visit: www.ccat.us or www.optomec.com/Additive-Manufacturing-Technology/Laser-Additive-Manufacturing

Optomec, Inc., the world leader in high performance additive manufacturing systems, today announced the opening of its new and expanded Advanced Applications Lab and Product Development Facility in St. Paul, MN. The facility signifies the growth and market acceptance of Aerosol Jet technology and is a further commitment by the company to continue its leadership position in developing advanced applications for the Printed Electronics industry.

The new facility is located in the Westgate IV Business Center at 2575 University Ave, Ste 135, in St. Paul, Minnesota. The building consists of 7600 square feet of office and general laboratory space and will be utilized for both advanced development of Aerosol Jet Printed Electronics Applications and for new product engineering. Dr. Mike Renn will continue his role as Director of Aerosol Jet Advanced Application Development, and John Lees, recently appointed Director of Aerosol Jet New Product Development, will lead the product engineering team at the new facility. In conjunction with the expansion, Optomec is looking to double its local staff.

Optomec’s Aerosol Jet systems for Printed Electronics utilize a proprietary material deposition process to direct write high resolution electronic circuitry, components and even complete devices on 2D and 3D surfaces. The Aerosol Jet deposition process is highly efficient and supports a wide variety of electronic materials compared to traditional subtractive manufacturing processes. Aerosol Jet systems can be used to both lower costs and enhance performance of current electronic devices, as well as to enable the creation of next generation products, such as 3D semiconductor packaging, high efficiency solar cells and solid oxide fuel cells.

Dave Ramahi, Optomec President/CEO states “Since first establishing a presence in Minneapolis-St.Paul in 2002, this location has provided access to a strong talent pool, as well as a convenient hub for domestic and international customers. The new facility and expanded resources will allow us to better serve our growing base of users, and their plans for production roll-outs of our Aerosol Jet printed electronics solution.”

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing solutions for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Solar, Medical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet printed electronics technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of more than 100 users that includes many industry-leading manufacturers.

For more information, visit: www.optomec.com

Optomec® announced today that the Company will showcase its Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS®)and Aerosol Jet®Deposition systems at the MS&T (Materials Science and Technology) conference from October 16-20, 2011 at the Columbus Convention Center in Ohio. Optomec will be located in booth # 731.

This year’s MS&T Conference will feature an international program sponsored by the five leading materials engineering societies: ACerS, AIST, ASM, TMS and NACE.  Attendees will have access to a comprehensive technical program that represents critical areas in materials science and engineering. The program spans materials activities that encompass fundamental research, technological innovations and solutions, and education, across a diverse set of topics including Biomaterial Technology, Ceramic and Glass Materials, Electronic and Magnetic Materials, Environmental and Energy Issues, and Fundamentals and Characterization.

Dr. Richard Grylls, LENS Product Manager for Optomec, will present on three different topics: 1) Initial Developments in Monitoring and Modeling of Laser Additive Manufacturing with Titanium; 2) Control and Monitoring of Laser Deposition Processes; and 3) Mechanical Property Design Using Laser Engineered Net Shaping.  Dr. Grylls will also explain how the LENS MR-7 system has been specially designed for the material researcher to rapidly produce novel alloys and metallic devices with exceptional quality. It is an ideal system for materials research, rapid alloy discovery, process development, solidification and materials processing research.

Additionally, Mike O’Reilly, Aerosol Jet Product Manager will give a presentation titled "Aerosol Jet Material Deposition for High Resolution Printed Electronic Applications”.  Mr. O’Reilly will explain how Aerosol Jet systems have the unique ability to produce a wide range of electronic, and biological patterns onto almost any substrate. The proprietary process, which is completely different from ink jet, utilizes aerodynamic focusing to precisely deliver fluid and nano-material formulations that as required can be optionally post-treated with a highly focused laser or other sintering methods. The resulting patterns can have features that are less than 10 microns wide, with layer thicknesses from 10's of nanometers to several microns.

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing solutions for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Solar, Medical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet printed electronics technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of more than 100 users that includes many industry-leading manufacturers.

For more information, visit: www.matscitech.org or www.optomec.com

Optomec announced today that Ken Vartanian, Optomec Marketing Director, will give a presentation titled “Aerosol Jet Printer as an Alternative to Wire Bond and TSV Technology for 3D Interconnect Applications” at the iMAPS 44th International Symposium on Microelectronics.  The symposium will be held from October 9-13 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, CA.

The Symposium is organized by the International Microelectronics And Packaging Society (IMAPS). IMAPS 2011 will feature technical tracks on 3D Packaging; Modeling, Design & Reliability; Next Generation Materials; Assembly & Packaging; Advanced Technologies; and a Focus Track on Advanced Packaging & System-Integration. Sessions include: 3D-TSV Processes & Materials; 3D TSV Interposers; 3D Packaging/Applications; Signal & Power Integrity; Package Reliability; Microwave/RF; Advanced Materials; Ceramic & LTCC; Thermal Management; Wire Bonding; Printed Electronics; Substrate Materials for Semicon/Solar; MEMS Packaging; and many more.

Mr. Vartanian’s presentation will discuss how Optomec’s Aerosol Jet 3D printing technology coupled with Vertical Circuits, Vertical Interconnect Pillar (ViPtm) process can bridge the gap between wire bonders and Through Silicon Via technology for SiP interconnect applications. The Aerosol Jet/ViP process has been designed to integrate easily into current Back-End Manufacturing processes and into commercial high volume automation platforms. Aerosol Jet Systems’ fine line printing capabilities enable significant pitch reductions, thereby increasing interconnect densities and affording greater semiconductor packaging functionality at a competitive cost with wire bonding and at a fraction of the cost of TSV technology. Mr. Vartanian will explain how the non-contact Aerosol Jet process produces conformal interconnects on thinned stacked dies with reduced noise for high performance SiP applications. With its ability to use off-the-shelf materials and print in normal atmospheric conditions, equipment and maintenance costs are greatly reduced. The Aerosol Jet solution is a multi-function platform that is poised to enable high density interconnects for a range of advanced three-dimensional semiconductor packaging applications.

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing solutions for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Solar, Medical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet Printed Electronics technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of more than 100 users that includes many industry-leading manufacturers.

For detailed information on the conference, visit: www.imaps.org/imaps2011/index.htm

For more information on Aerosol Jet systems, visit: www.optomec.com/additive-manufacturing-technology/printed-electronics

Optomec announced that Jason Paulsen and Dr. Kurt Christenson will give presentations on “High Resolution Conformal Printing with Aerosol Jet Systems” and “Direct Printing of Circuit Boards Using Aerosol Jet Systems”, respectively at the NIP International Conference on Digital Printing Technologies.  The conference is being held from October 2-6 in Minnealpolis, MN.

For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies.  The conference includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

Mr. Paulsen’s poster presentation will explain the Aerosol Jet printing process and discuss how the system can deposit fine features as small as 10 microns wide or large area coatings as thin as 50 nanometers.  Aerosol Jet systems enable deposition of wide assortment of materials including metal nanoparticle inks, dielectrics, polymers, adhesives, ceramics, and bio-active materials. Mr. Paulsen will explain how the Aerosol Jet process can print conformal features onto 3D substrates through its innovative aerodynamic focusing deposition head. Application examples will be presented including  the fabrication of a conformal phased array antenna, conformal  sensors, and conformal 3D interconnects printed on stacked die.  For more information on Aerosol Jet systems, click here.

Dr. Christenson’s presentation, titled “Direct Printing of Circuit Boards Using Aerosol Jet Systems” will discuss how the Aerosol Jet process can replace many of the traditional manufacturing steps and consequently allow circuits to be fabricated on novel substrates and 3D surfaces.  Printed Circuit boards (PCBs) are traditionally fabricated using subtractive technologies such as lithography and etching. Discrete passive and active components are typically attached by pick and place and then connected using wire bonding and soldering. Dr. Christensen will specifically report on recent developments using Aerosol Jet technology to print cross-over interconnects, high tolerance passive components and to electrically attach Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) devices.

In addition to Mr. Paulsen and Dr. Christenson’s presentations, Mingjing Ha (University of Minnesota) will present a poster titled “Low Voltage, Printed, Flexible Circuits for Display and Memory”.  The Aerosol Jet system was used to print the circuits that will be discussed in her presentation.

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing solutions for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Solar, Medical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet Printed Electronics technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of more than 100 users that includes many industry-leading manufacturers.

For detailed information on the conference, visit: www.imaging.org/ist/conferences/nip

Optomec today announced a new $500,000 contract extension from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to enhance its Aerosol Jet system to enable the production of graded fuel cell structures in a single manufacturing step, versus current multiple step approaches. The system will be used by AFRL to develop and prototype high efficiency solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) based on the Aerosol Jet technology’s unique material mixing capabilities. These advances will improve the electrical and mechanical performance of fuel cells, increase the material utilization rates, and substantially lower manufacturing and equipment costs.

Optomec’s Aerosol Jet solution is a fundamental building block for a range of fine feature printed electronics, including applications in solar cell manufacturing and advanced semiconductor packaging. Working together with AFRL, Optomec has extended Aerosol Jet capabilities to enable the printing of high performance fuel cells.

Commercialization of SOFC technology has been limited in part by the lack of processing methods suited for mass production. Commonly used approaches such as tape casting; screen printing; spray; and spin and dip coating have limitations due to the inability for easy scale-up and difficulties in obtaining layer uniformity and reproducible microstructures. Alternative techniques based on physical vapor deposition involve high equipment and operating costs. Aerosol Jet systems provide a compelling alternative to these legacy methods, based on the systems' ability to cost-effectively print fuel cell components with exceptional uniformity, reproducibility and a greater utilization of active materials. Aerosol Jet systems also serve as an ideal development and prototyping tool due to their ability to readily and reproducibly alter cell architectures and material compositions.

Most notably, the Aerosol Jet solution has a unique ability to create graded interfaces between the fuel cell’s primary component layers: the anode, electrolyte and cathode. These graded “inter-layers” simultaneously increase cell performance by enlarging the reaction zone and improve mechanical stability by alleviating the mismatches in thermal expansion. Using this capability, AFRL has demonstrated the ability to increase SOFC power densities by more than 30%. Under this contract extension, Optomec will further enhance the Aerosol Jet hardware to enable seamless, high throughput production of these unique high performance graded fuel cells.

The AFRL system and its enhancements will remain housed at the Propulsion Directorate Energy/Power/Thermal Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. The system will continue to be primarily used to develop deposition processes for SOFCs.

Dr. Ryan Miller of the Thermal and Electrochemical branch states, “Optomec and AFRL continue to have a productive partnership, through the development of further enhancements to the Aerosol Jet system. It brings a unique capability to our lab in the area of thick film material deposition with a wide range of applications, in addition to solid oxide fuel cells.”

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing solutions for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Solar, Medical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet Printed Electronics technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of more than 100 users that includes many industry-leading manufacturers.

For more information on Aerosol Jet technology, visit: www.optomec.com/Additive-Manufacturing-Applications/Printed-Electronics-for-Solar-Cells

Optomec announced today that the Company will showcase its Aerosol Jet Deposition system for Printed Electronics at SEMICON West at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California from July 12-14.  Optomec will be located in the Extreme Electronics TechZone, South Hall, booth # 2444.   The Extreme Electronics TechZone highlights technology that focuses around design and manufacturing solutions for emerging and adjacent microelectronics markets including high-brightness LEDs and solid state lighting, MEMS, flexible and printed electronics, and other nano-scale technologies.

Aerosol Jet systems have the unique ability to produce a wide range of electronic, structural and biological patterns onto almost any substrate. The proprietary process, which is completely different from ink jet, utilizes aerodynamic focusing to precisely deliver fluid and nano-material formulations that as required can be optionally post-treated with a highly focused laser or other sintering methods. The resulting patterns can have features that are less than 10 microns wide, with layer thicknesses from 10's of nanometers to several microns. A recently announced Aerosol Jet Wide Nozzle print head is also available which enables efficient patterning of millimeter scale conductive features (bus bars, backplanes), large area thin film coatings, and selective coatings (insulators, cross-over circuits, encapsulation). Example applications for Aerosol Jet Wide Nozzle deposition capabilities are fuel cells, conformal antennae and Molded Interconnect Devices.

Earlier this month, Optomec also announced the availability of the Aerosol Jet Marathon Series for high volume printed electronics manufacturing. The Marathon Series represents the next generation of Aerosol Jet Printhead technology and sets a new performance standard for fine feature printed electronics and wide area coating applications. The 3 nozzle Marathon Series print module is available now with additional configurations, including a 10 nozzle and 3MM wide nozzle available soon.  Marathon Series print modules can be configured on standalone Aerosol Jet systems or on Aerosol Jet Print Engines used for integration with 3rd party automation systems.  More information on the new Aerosol Jet print modules will be available in the exhibit booth.

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing solutions for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Solar, Medical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec's patented Aerosol Jet printed electronics technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of more than 100 users that includes many industry-leading manufacturers.

For more information, visit: www.optomec.com or www.semiconwest.org

Optomec, Inc., the world leader in high-performance additive manufacturing systems, today announced availability of the Aerosol Jet 3MM Wide Nozzle Printhead. The 3MM Wide Nozzle Printhead is the first in a family of new hardware which enables non-contact, room temperature printing of large features in a single pass. The Aerosol Jet Wide Nozzle Printhead is an extension of Optomec’s revolutionary fine-feature printing technology that is used to produce geometries as small as 10 microns. The new 3MM Printhead is instead ideally suited for producing millimeter-scale conductive features (busbars, backplanes), large area thin film coatings, and selective coatings (insulators, cross over circuits, encapsulation). Target applications include the manufacturing of fuel cells, conformal antennae, and Molded Interconnect Devices.

Using a series of standard interchangeable nozzles, the 3MM Wide Nozzle Printhead can produce geometries from ca. 0.3mm to 1.5mm wide, with layer thickness ranging from ca. 100nm to 10’s of microns. As with all Aerosol Jet solutions, a broad range of material types are supported, including conductive pastes and fine particle inks, dielectrics, polymers, and masking materials, all of which can be precisely deposited onto planar and 3-dimensional surfaces. The Sprint Series 3MM Wide Nozzle Printhead with independent atomizer provides maximum flexibility in material testing and evaluation ideal for rapid product development. The Marathon Series 3MM Wide Nozzle Printhead coupled with an integrated atomizer provides maximum process control ideal for production applications. For more information about the 3MM Wide Nozzle Printhead, click here.

Mike O’Reilly, Aerosol Jet Product Manager, states, “Selective and wide area coating applications have been driven by our installed customer base. Our customers have completed successful field trials using new 3MM Wide Nozzle technology and we are pleased to offer this expanded capability within our family of Aerosol Jet Printhead solutions.”

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing solutions for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Solar, Medical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet printed electronics technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of more than 100 users that includes many industry-leading manufacturers.

For more information, visit: www.Optomec.com

Optomec, the world leader in high performance additive manufacturing systems, today announced availability of the Aerosol Jet Marathon Series for high volume printed electronics manufacturing. The Marathon Series represents the next generation of Aerosol Jet print module technology and sets a new performance standard for fine feature printed electronics and wide area coating applications. The 3 nozzle Marathon Series print module is available now with additional configurations, including a 10 nozzle and 3MM wide nozzle, scheduled for delivery next quarter. Marathon Series print modules can be configured on standalone Aerosol Jet systems or on Aerosol Jet Print Engines used for integration with 3rd party automation systems.

Marathon Series print modules feature a refillable atomizer cartridge that injects aerosolized material directly into the print head. This direct aerosol injection method eliminates tubing and shortens the material delivery path resulting in reliable, trouble free operation. The temperature inside the Marathon Series atomizer cartridge and print head are independently controlled which is made possible through an integrated thermal insulation barrier. This level of integration and process control throughout the entire material delivery system is the key to reliable, extended operation in high volume printed electronics manufacturing. For more information on the Marathon Series, click here.

Marathon Series print modules successfully completed extensive pilot testing at a number of customer sites. Applications tested included fine line printing of 3D interconnects, printing of dielectrics and deposition of wide area coatings.

The Marathon series complements current Aerosol Jet print module technology, now called the Sprint Series, which remains the deposition platform of choice for material research and rapid prototyping applications. Field upgrades from Sprint Series to Marathon Series print modules are also available.

Dr. Dave Bohling, Optomec VP of Engineering, states “Our efforts to ruggedize and optimize Aerosol Jet technology for high volume printed electronics applications culminated with the release of the Marathon Series. The design approach successfully achieved these objectives by tightly coupling the input and output components in the material delivery system while also enhancing process control for each of these components. The results clearly demonstrate improved performance and reliability required to meet uptime and production quality expectations.”

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing solutions for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Solar, Medical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet printed electronics technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of more than 100 users that includes many industry-leading manufacturers.

For more information visit: www.optomec.com

Optomec, the world leader in high performance additive manufacturing systems, today announced financial performance for its first quarter ending March 31, 2011. The company reported profits for the quarter and strong sales performance across all product lines, notably with Aerosol Jet system sales increasing 60% year over year.

The order breakdown included 6 new System customers, bringing Optomec’s global installed base to well more than 100 users. Sales momentum increased for Aerosol Jet printed electronic systems across multiple markets, including receipt of repeat orders for production repair solutions used for LCD panels, touch panels , and Electronic Paper Display (EPD) TFT’s. In addition, the company added to its growing list of Solar customers using Aerosol Jet to develop high efficiency solar cells.

Sales of LENS systems, used for the repair and manufacture of high value metal components, also remained strong. The company reported that the overall increase in systems sales resulted in a book to bill ratio of 1.7 for the quarter.

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing solutions for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Solar, Medical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet printed electronics technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of more than 100 users that includes many industry-leading manufacturers.

For more information visit: www.optomec.com

Optomec announced today that the company has received the prestigious Frost & Sullivan “Enabling Technology of the Year” award in North America. The award recognizes Optomec’s accomplishments and leadership in developing additive manufacturing systems used for printed electronics.

Frost & Sullivan presents this award based on Optomec’s development and deployment of its innovative Aerosol Jet® technology that can directly print high resolution circuitry and functional electronics with features as small as 10 microns (a tenth the width of a human hair). The award also recognizes the high market acceptance of Aerosol Jet systems, which are being used by over 100 companies today for printed electronic applications. For more information on Aerosol Jet capabilities, click here.

Printed electronics is an innovative manufacturing technique whereby electronic circuitry, components and even complete devices are created using highly efficient additive techniques versus traditional subtractive or lithographic processing. The process can be used to both lower costs and enhance performance of current electronic devices, as well as to enable the creation of next-generation products, such as high efficiency solar cells and fuel cells.

“Optomec's patented Aerosol Jet printing system reduces the size of electronic systems by using nano-materials to produce fine feature circuitry, embedded components and miniaturized devices,” said Sunanda Jayanth, Frost & Sullivan research analyst for Automation & Electronics. “It offers cost, size and functional advantages, including an ability to produce electronic features that are 10 -100 times smaller than competing methods such as screen-printing, inkjet and thick film lithography. These advantages prove to be the key differentiator for Optomec's Aerosol Jet printing in comparison to competing solutions, such as ink jet and wire bonding, as well as through silicon via (TSV) technology,” added Jayanth.

“We are honored to be recognized for our accomplishments in developing advanced manufacturing systems that can be used to both enhance existing electronic products and also enable development of innovative next-generation micro-electronics devices,” said President & CEO David Ramahi. “This prestigious award is particularly significant to Optomec because of Frost & Sullivan’s rigorous and unbiased selection process.”

For more information visit: www.frost.com or www.optomec.com

Optomec announced today that Mike O’Reilly, Optomec’s Aerosol Jet Product Manager, will give a presentation titled “Aerosol Jet Printing as an Alternative to Wire Bond and TSV Technology for 3D Interconnect Applications” at the IMAPS (International Microelectronics and Packaging Society) Device Packaging Conference on March 9. The conference will be held from March 8-10th at the Radisson Fort McDowell Resort and Casino in Scottsdale/Fountain Hills, Arizona. For detailed information on the conference go to: http://www.imaps.org/programs/devicepackaging2011.htm

The seventh Annual Device Packaging Conference is an international event and attracts a diverse group of people within industry and academia. It provides a chance for educational interactions across many different functional groups and experience levels. The conference provides a focused forum on the latest technological developments in five topical workshop areas related to microelectronic packaging, including 3D IC & Packaging, Flip Chip Technologies, MEMS & Associated Microsystems, Wafer Level Packaging; and Emerging Technologies (LEDs & Passive Integration).

Mr. O’Reilly’s presentation will discuss how, based on cost and functional advantages, the Aerosol Jet process is emerging as an effective alternative to traditional wire bond and through-silicon-via (TSV) technologies. Aerosol Jet systems have high density 3-dimensional interconnect capabilities which enable multi-functional integrated circuits to be stacked and vertically interconnected in high performance System-in-Package (SiP) solutions. The die stacks can include 8 or more die, with a total stack height of ~ 1 mm. The printing system has a working distance of several mm which means that no Z-height adjustments are required for the interconnect printing. Closely coupled pneumatic atomizers with multiplexed print nozzles are used to achieve production throughput of greater than >18,000 interconnects per hour, and high aspect ratio interconnects with 30-micron line width and 6-micron line heights have been demonstrated at sub 60-micron pitches with low resistivity. The presentation will also include pre-production qualification results, final production packaging, and further definition of the Aerosol Jet print platform integrated within a high throughput, manufacturing ready automation solution. For more information on Aerosol Jet systems, click here.

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing solutions for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Solar, Medical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet Printed Electronics technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of more than 100 users that includes many industry-leading manufacturers.

Thursday, 24 February 2011 11:08

LENS System to Be Featured at 2011 TMS Conference

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Optomec announced today that the Company will showcase its Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) MR-7 System featuring an integrated Stratonics ThermaViz thermal imager at the TMS Annual Meeting and Exhibition in San Diego, California, February 28-March 2 (booth #407). The TMS Meeting draws an extensive technical audience and spotlights the latest developments in the emerging materials and materials characterization areas.

The LENS MR-7 system has been specially designed for the material researcher to rapidly produce novel materials with exceptional quality. It is an ideal system for materials research, rapid alloy discovery, process development, solidification and materials processing research. Key features include the Stratonics ThermaViz non-contact thermal imaging system for measuring temperature and cooling rate; an inert processing chamber; dual powder feeders, and a fiber laser. A webinar titled “Accelerating R&D of Novel Alloys and Metallic Devices with LENS” provides more information on the LENS MR-7 system and application examples. Click here to access the webinar.

Also, Jim Craig, CEO of Stratonics, will give a presentation titled “On-Line Imaging Pyrometer for Laser Deposition Processing” on Thursday, March 3. Mr. Craig’s presentation will focus on new developments in monitoring the temperature distribution of the melt pool during LENS processing. The presentation will also explain how the ThermaViz has been successfully integrated into the LENS MR-7 system, and discuss how ThermaViz has been used to measure the critical deposit parameters of peak temperature and cooling rate necessary for controlling metallurgy. Richard Grylls, LENS Product Manager, stated, “Stratonics ThermaViz system has added a significant new capability to the LENS system, providing critical process monitoring and understanding. Researchers looking to understand the processing-microstructure-property relationships of their material will find the MR-7 system a vital research tool.” Optomec’s Aerosol Jet technology for printed electronics will also be showcased in the exhibit booth.

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing solutions for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Solar, Medical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet Printed Electronics technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of more than 100 users that includes many industry-leading manufacturers.

For more information on LENS Systems visit: optomec.com/site/products_3

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