PCB Prototyping Evolves With New Wave of Electronics Printers


Reading time ( words)

A new wave of printers targeting PCBs is enabling rapid, local prototyping while protecting company IP, finds IDTechEx Research.

The established $80 billion PCB market is under increasing strain to produce more customized circuit boards more quickly, driven by the proliferation of choices of consumer electronics devices, many only being sold for short periods of time until being bettered.

The current status quo of making prototypes in Asia and then shipping them to the product developer not only typically takes one to three weeks but can put intellectual property at risk, at a time when product developers seek both time-to-market and product design as key differentiators in a sector where branded devices are sometimes copied and commoditized before they have even been launched.

IDTechEx Research has discovered that this has led to a new category of printers that print conductive ink and other materials to enable in-house, low cost, rapid prototyping and development work.

According to research conducted for the report “From 2D to 3D Printed Electronics 2015-2025” (www.idtechex.com/3dpe) the opportunity is being explored mainly by start-up companies rather than large equipment providers. Of those involved, 45% are targeting the low cost printer opportunity (under $3,500 per printer) focusing towards the educational and hobbyist markets.

The rest are focussing on the industrial market, targeting up to 6 circuit layers, which accounts for 43% of all PCBs produced.

IDTechEx Research finds that both groups have to contend with the higher resistivity of the ink, although the increasing supply of nanoparticle inks will help to close the performance gap with etched traces.

This will culminate in at least $130m of specialist equipment sales in 2020 and thereafter scale rapidly as not only more materials become available but also ability to print on everything from flexible substrates to 3D surfaces unleashes current design constraints. The new wave of printed electronics manufacturing will enable new product designs.

For more information see the new report from IDTechEx “From 2D to 3D Printed Electronics 2015-2025”. The IDTechEx Show! on November 18-19 in Santa Clara covering Printed Electronics and 3D printing will showcase the solutions.

Share

Print


Suggested Items

Joe O’Neil: Green Circuits Running Strong Under Current Social Restrictions

06/01/2020 | Nolan Johnson, PCB007
On May 28, Joe O’Neil, CEO of Green Circuits, updated Nolan Johnson on how the company continues to operate during the COVID-19 restrictions. O’Neil reflects on the rapid chain of events this past March when lockdowns were instituted in the San Francisco Bay area. After a brief but rapid shutdown, Green Circuits was back up and in production.

3D Additive Electronics Manufacturing: Are We Nearing an Inflection Point?

05/28/2020 | Dan Feinberg, I-Connect007
Recently, Dan Feinberg was invited to attend a detailed and broadly informative webinar by nScrypt titled “The Strength of 3D-Printed Electronics," which covered the status and advances in the use of 3D printing for electronic device design and manufacture. nScrypt is an Orlando-based company founded in 2002 that focuses on 3D printing. Here’s what Dan learned from each of the speakers.

Survey: Lessons Learned in Unparalleled Times

05/19/2020 | I-Connect007 Research Team
Parents often share nuggets of wisdom with their children in hopes that they won’t repeat past mistakes. But what do our electronics industry leaders want to share about lessons learned during the COVID-19 crisis?



Copyright © 2020 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.