Community for electronic 3D printing launched by Nano Dimension and Hendsoldt –

Hensold and Nano dimension have launched a platform for Additively Manufactured Electronics (AME) designers through the joint venture of Jetted Additively Manufactured Electronics Sources (JAMES) partners. The FrAMEwork will allow 3D printed electronics developers to exchange expertise and overcome challenges in a global location.

“Our mission is to provide a space where anyone around the world can share stories and ideas about AME, exchange technical know-how and designs, and enjoy the benefits of real-time communication with AME enthusiasts and professionals,” said Andreas Müller, CEO of JAMES “AME enables visionary new applications in electronics that cannot be realized with conventional electronics manufacturing, and we strive to enable members to explore new possibilities in 3D.”

JAMES was formed in 2021 between electronic 3D printer manufacturer Nano Dimension and Hensholdt. With 1.47 billion euros in sales, Hendsholdt is the former electronics division of Airbus and used Nano Dimension’s DragonFly PRO to manufacture printed circuit boards. Since then, the company has added a nanomaterial 3D printing startup XTPL and the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systemss. Now, through its new community platform, JAMES aims to advance electronic inkjet 3D printing. Andreas Salomon, CTO of JAMES, explained:

“However, this emerging technology can only be brought to a higher level of technical readiness if we are able to combine different processes, materials and design methods. This is exactly what JAMES is perfectly suited for: allowing members of the JAMES community to gain experience with inkjet, micro-distribution, ceramic printing, aerosol printing and all other processes currently on the market. Fusion of technologies is the future of AME with huge potential to completely change the traditional way of manufacturing electronics.

The joint venture claims to have overcome the limits of 3D printed electronics, 3D printing fully electrified structures. For example, the company combined a variety of electronics, including a flight controller, four motion controllers, and four motors, into a single drone frame.

“This drone also demonstrates the possibilities of miniaturization with AME,” Müller said. “Because AME 3D printers can print in microns, electronics can be significantly reduced in size while maintaining or exceeding current efficiency.”

JAMES’ 3D printed drone Image courtesy of JAMES

Now, through the FrAMEwork platform, members of different levels of expertise can share ideas and information about 3D printing electronics. On the JAMES site, you’ll see projects 3D printed by the joint venture alongside ideas for potential 3D-printable electronics, like brushless motors. Members can also access tutorials and research articles dedicated to the technology.

Considering the small size but powerful apps in this niche industry, the community will be one to watch. The most comparable companies would be the FlexTech Alliance and its Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Institute (NextFlex), formed with the US Department of Defense. Although Nano Dimension has participated in NextFlex events, the institute appears to be primarily an American company, making the newest JAMES a European AM-focused project by comparison. Both will advance electronic 3D printing in their own way and may even converge at some point; however, we can also expect some rivalry to some extent.

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