September 21, 2023

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Horizon Microtechnologies launches micro-AM expertise

Horizon Microtechnologies launches micro-AM expertise

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At Formnext 2022, Horizon Microtechnologies commercially launched its template-based 3D microfabrication expertise, which produces conductive micro-AM derived components with micrometer scale precision.

Whereas demonstrating the corporate’s expertise alongside micro-AM expertise innovator Boston Micro Fabrication, Andreas Frölich, the CEO of Horizon, showcased the corporate’s post-build processes which introduce the flexibility of micro-AM to such functions as electrodes and electrical contact pins, ESD secure components, 3D microfluidics, and MEMS and optics packaging for the very first time.

“Template-based 3D microfabrication is successfully a mechanism to take advantage of the usefulness of polymer micro-AM produced 3D microstructures (the template) for hitherto unserved areas of trade by including materials and performance to the microstructure, usually with a coating course of. This can be a actual game-changer for trade. The important thing enabling expertise for our processes is micro-AM, and at the moment quite a few commercially viable polymer-based micro-AM platforms exist that may obtain exacting tolerances, shortly, cost-effectively, and above all, repeatably. Nevertheless, these platforms are virtually completely restricted to the manufacturing of components in resin or plastics. Horizon Microtechnologies bridges the hole between micro-AM and components with enhanced performance by way of the usage of proprietary post-build processes. Which means corporations requiring the flexibleness, innovation, and agility that’s pushed by AM for components with conductive, ceramic, heat-resistant, or different polymer-incompatible functionalities now have a commercially viable resolution obtainable,” mentioned Andreas Frölich.

Horizon specializes within the manufacturing of micro-scale conductive components and environmentally resistant components. To introduce conductivity – as soon as the half is produced on a polymer-AM platform – it’s both wholly or selectively coated with a conductive layer. Horizon may even coat troublesome areas homogeneously equivalent to lengthy slim channels and undercuts. Apparent utility areas embrace electrodes, electrical sensor heads, and ESD-safe parts.

Microfabricated 3D templates will also be coated with metallic oxides to make components suitable with aggressive chemical environments and in some circumstances can notably enhance the resistance to excessive temperatures and mechanical stresses. For instance, this enables for the fabrication of nozzles and 3D microfluidics for aggressive solvents and sure acids with the total design freedom of additive manufacturing. In some circumstances, additionally it is attainable to make bulk ceramic or glass objects.

Horizon Microtechnologies launches micro-AM expertise

“If you happen to check out simply one of many key utility areas that our applied sciences are acceptable for (electrodes and electrical contact pins) you may see what Horizon’s options open up. By utilizing our in-house applied sciences, we will design an electrode geometry virtually arbitrarily whereas sustaining manufacturability. Compared to manufacturing routes not based mostly on micro-AM, this enables a broader set of choices for necessities equivalent to three-dimensional placement of the lively electrode areas, stiffness (or lack thereof) of the electrodes, and electrical properties of the electrode as a result of enhanced management over the inductance and capacitance. As well as, we will make electrodes with totally different conductive supplies to cater for biocompatibility or bioinertness. The identical advantages apply to the design and fabrication {of electrical} contact pins,” continued Andreas Frölich.

When taking a look at ESD-safe components, Horizon Microtechnologies could make components with a controllably conductive floor coating and coat inside channels with a number of bends. This enables the corporate to make very compact and high-performance end-effectors for vacuum pick-and-place units that are, on the similar time, conductive sufficient to forestall ESD discharge. ESD security additionally allows the usage of Horizon-produced components below circumstances requiring spark freedom and explosion safety.

Within the space of microfluidics, the additive manufacturing strategy lends itself very effectively to prototyping and small batch manufacturing of complicated, multi-level microfluidic chips, together with chips with built-in filters and interfaces to exterior parts. Utilizing Horizon’s post-print processes, the surfaces involved with the liquid may be coated to enhance wetting habits, management floor power, and even introduce electrically conductive areas.

Lastly, whereas AM just isn’t usually thought of a mass-production expertise, the discount within the dimension of electronics and optics – and the accompanying shrinkage of packaging – has made it a viable manufacturing different for MEMS and optics housings for small to medium batch sizes. Along with the precision supplied by micro-AM, clever use of Horizon’s post-processes can enhance the performance of the packaging, for instance by lowering stray gentle within the infrared, or by having built-in electrical conductors.

“These are thrilling instances for us all at Horizon as years of R&D have now culminated in us launching our applied sciences commercially. I believe what makes us stand out as an organization is our in-depth expertise with manufacturing and design methods within the 3D microfabrication ecosystem. We work in a supplier-independent vogue with polymer micro-AM expertise innovators and have developed in-house post-build technological options which can be an integral and essential addition to the AM course of chain – stimulating innovation and disrupting the manufacture of micro-scale conductive components and parts. We stay up for working with corporations throughout quite a few trade sectors that may profit from our options,” concluded Andreas Frölich.