TEST FIXTURES FOR THE PCB AND SEMICONDUCTOR INDUSTRIES

Enabling fast turnaround and
rapid iteration
 


PCB AND FLEX CIRCUIT
MANUFACTURING

Spurring rapid prototyping, unique geometries
and novel materials
 


3D PHASED ARRAY AND CONFORMAL
ANTENNA TECHNOLOGIES

Advancing new possibilities for defense, satcom, and consumer electronics
 


 

SINGLE PROBE AND
PHASED ARRAY TRANSDUCERS

Eliminating flex circuitry in highly customized electronic components
 


ATHLETIC TEXTILES
AND FOOTWEAR

translator.jpg

Enhancing performance, durability
and aesthetics
 


MEDICAL
PRODUCTS

Customizing material gradients to improve
comfort and patient outcomes
 


 

Electrical In-Circuit Test Fixtures

In-circuit testing of PCBs and semiconductors is a common manufacturing quality control check of electronic components in the consumer electronics, automotive and telecom industries.  

 

Traditional In-Circuit Test Fixture

 

Current test fixtures are manufactured using a labor-intensive wire wrapping technique that is prone to a high error rate and has long lead times.   

Our technology will transform the wired test fixture market to wireless fixtures, which will speed up lead times, lower fixture costs, increase design flexibility, and improve fixture reliability. 

 

Voxel8 3D Printed Translator Board


 

PCB and Flex Circuits

Multi-material digital manufacturing of PCBs and flex-circuits holds the promise to change the way electronics are designed and fabricated. In the short term, in-house rapid prototyping of PCBs and flex circuits will allow product engineers to quickly iterate their designs and reduce product development cycles.

Looking beyond rapid prototyping, multi-material digital manufacturing will open up a whole new dimension in design, enabling PCBs with geometries that were previously unattainable and/or eliminating the need for flex circuits by routing traces directly within product parts.

Drone printed with traces routed out from PCB directly within structural parts

Drone printed with traces routed out from PCB directly within structural parts

 
 
 PCB printed with Voxel8 epoxy and conductive silver

 PCB printed with Voxel8 epoxy and conductive silver

 

Antennas

Our technology offers new design possibilities and performance enhancements for the communications industry, including phased array antennas, conformal antennas, and other 3D antenna designs, while vastly shortening the time from simulation to fabrication.

 
 

3D Antennas for 5G telecom

New 5G standards are being established and this technology is pushing the limits of traditional antenna technology and opening up opportunities for new 3D antenna geometries and performance enhancements.

Phased Array Antennas

Phased array antennas are a growing area of interest in the defense, telecom, and consumer electronics space as electronics shrink and demands for signal transmission and reception grow in complexity.  

 
 

Mitre Case Study

We have been working in collaboration with MITRE to generate phased array antennas for various defense applications.  

MITRE has invented a new class of wideband phased array antenna that has a 7:1 bandwidth ratio and scans up to 60 degrees. This new antenna design has 3D features that are ideally suited for additive manufacturing, but difficult to make with traditional manufacturing techniques. At the same time, the new antenna remains lighter, costs less, and performs better than its original mostly metal counterpart. Voxel8 is actively working with MITRE to make increasingly complex iterations of the new phased array design a reality.

 

Read further technical details of a 3D printed antenna evaluation performed by MITRE:

 

Ultrasound Transducers

Nondestructive testing is used in many industrial manufacturing settings to test the integrity of structural systems and components.  One common application is pulse echo ultrasound testing, which is used to detect the properties of a material such as a metal welded pipe used to transport natural gas at a petroleum processing facility.  

Many ultrasonic transducers are manufactured on an “engineered to order” basis because the product needs to be custom developed for the application among dimensions such as:  frequency, number of elements, pitch, element elevation, connector type, array type, and others.  

Due to this high degree of customization, 3D printing of ultrasonic transducer probes is an ideal manufacturing method, as it decreases product order to ship lead times and eliminates the need for costly flex circuits.
 

Combining and replacing internal elements

Additionally, Voxel8’s unique materials formulations and gradients can be tuned for specific impedance and attenuation requirements, providing a higher level of performance than incumbent processes and materials.  

Benefits of 3D printed ultrasound transducer components

  • Reduced Cost: Eliminates low-volume and custom flex circuitry, lowering manufacturing cost
  • Reduced Lead Time: Reduces material procurement and manufacturing times, shortening lead time overall
  • Increased Performance:  Allows for tuned acoustic properties of the matrix material, for enhanced imaging capability  

Apparel

Multi-material digital manufacturing holds promise for the mass customization of apparel, including the ability to embed new features and functionality not possible with traditional manufacturing technologies. Examples include embedded networks of sensors and performance enhancement of athletic shoes.

 

Conformal 3D Printing on Athletic Shoes

Through direct-write printing, we can combine polyurethane with an array of innovative materials to optimize energy absorption / release and tune support, while reducing weight.

 
 

Medical

By applying our multi-material manufacturing platform, we are enabling partners to produce medical products tailored to individual patients, increasing comfort, efficacy, and mechanical robustness. Through proprietary fabrication techniques, we are able to produce graded (hard and soft) materials within a given product, e.g., orthotics, hearing aid shells, CPAP face masks, casts, and well beyond. These gradient architectures lead to reduced failure relative to traditional parts that contain abrupt transitions between hard and soft materials. For example, gradient materials would provide strain protection for othotics, which can often fail under intense athletic performance.

From CPAP face masks, to casts and orthotics, we are working with partners to deliver the next generation of medical products.