Nano Dimension has introduced its new DragonFly Lights-Out Digital Manufacturing (LDM) printing technology, a comprehensive additive manufacturing platform for round-the-clock 3D printing of electronic circuitry. The DragonFly LDM system is designed for “Industry 4.0” and IoT manufacturing.

The new system is an extension of the DragonFly Pro, which is dedicated to printing electronic components such as multilayer printed circuit boards (PCB), antennas and sensors. Improvements include optimization of overall equipment effectiveness and significantly better workflow and production processes. The DragonFly LDM extends 3D printing for printed electronics beyond prototyping to true in-house, lights-out digital manufacturing, enabling one-off prototypes as well as low-volume manufacturing, with 24/7 uninterrupted 3D printing.

The DragonFly LDM combines advanced printer head software management algorithms with automatic self-cleaning of its print heads every few hours. It is equipped with a real-time automatic material monitoring system that ensures maximum runtime while minimizing the frequency and duration of scheduled downtime — typically just one weekly maintenance operation.

DragonFly LDM Technology Features & Benefits

  • Long, uninterrupted printing with minimal supervision for increased uptime and productivity.
  • New automatic printhead and self-cleaning system.
  • Simpler and faster operation, including new warm-up plane.
  • Fewer maintenance and operator interactions.
  • Improved yield.

The DragonFly LDM is available through Nano Dimension’s global sales channel.

First Deployment at HENSOLDT

The initial deployment of the DragonFly LDM was at HENSOLDT, a sensor and defense electronics provider based in Munich. The launch was initiated by Nano Dimension’s reseller, Phytec New Dimension.

During the joint LDM-campaign, HENSOLDT contributed by generating reference circuits to outline the advantages of the new LDM system.

HENSOLDT started working with a DragonFly system in 2016, to examine the possibilities of 3D printing electronics, and remains active in this innovative technology. For HENSOLDT, the experience realizing 3D printed multilayer circuits with the multi-material inkjet-process offered by Nano Dimension showed that a high amount of “personal care” was needed to keep the printer system operational.

The implementation of the new LDM system enables a significant reduction in time and associated cost for fabricating circuits, which are often needed as fast as possible. Comparing actual printing time showed the LDM system achieved more than 40 percent higher printing time.