NOVA, the world’s first 3D printer for mushy and stretchable electronics: technical specs and pricing



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The NOVA, from Ontario-based electronics 3D printer producer Voltera, turned the world’s first 3D printer for mushy, stretchable electronics when it was launched final 12 months.

Using direct ink write (DIW) know-how, the NOVA can 3D print digital circuits on mushy, stretchable, and conformable surfaces. 

Voltera claims that the 3D printer’s precision extrusion know-how makes it simpler and quicker to conduct electronics analysis and “develop the merchandise of the long run” by enabling fast benchtop iterations. That is stated to decrease manufacturing prices, speed up improvement occasions, and produce extra dependable outcomes.

“This primary-of-its-kind benchtop machine unlocks fast versatile hybrid electronics prototyping and the flexibility to experiment with customized inks and all kinds of substrates,” commented Alroy Almeida, CEO and co-founder of Voltera. 

“NOVA is already getting used to innovate how humankind explores deep area, to develop printed, on-skin sensors for medical imaging, and to prototype clothes that may measure your coronary heart charge but can undergo the light cycle in your washer.”   

“With NOVA, we will make units and align them to sub-10-micron precision, which is important to all the pieces that we do,” added Alex Kashkin, Graduate Researcher, Velasquez Group at MIT. Kashkin is utilizing NOVA to develop 3D printed electron sources for neutralizing ionic thruster plumes in low-earth orbit.

“If now we have a 20-micron deviation, our units explode. We want lots of precision, we have to have tuned supplies, and NOVA permits each.”

The NOVA 3D printer from Voltera. Photo via Voltera. Photo via Business Wire.The NOVA 3D printer from Voltera. Photograph by way of Voltera. Photograph by way of Enterprise Wire.

Key options of the NOVA 

In response to James Pickard, Product Director at Voltera, the NOVA was created to alleviate the ache factors related to prototyping versatile hybrid electronics (FHE).

Pickard has highlighted that conventional electrical units are developed with the usual manufacturing processes and supplies used for printed circuit boards (PCBs). This etching course of makes use of hazardous chemical compounds, and is optimized for supplies reminiscent of FR4 or Kapton with copper to attach silicone elements. 

Nevertheless, in response to Pickard, conventional electrical manufacturing is restricted to few materials choices, with limits in kind and performance. This has led to rising demand for FHEs which are “mushy, stretchable, giant scale, and built-in.”  

To satisfy this demand, the NOVA presents wide-ranging supplies compatibility. The NOVA has been optimized for display screen printable inks, permitting for simpler scaling from a lab setting to manufacturing. The NOVA additionally presents a semi-automated calibration process, permitting customers to fill the 3D printer Sensible Dispenser cartridge with the specified materials and begin 3D printing in minutes. 

The NOVA permits these supplies to be 3D printed onto quite a few substrates. Inflexible substrates reminiscent of glass, PCBs, and ceramics are all suitable with the NOVA, in addition to versatile polyimides and PETs, stretchable TPUs, and porous substrates reminiscent of paper. 

The NOVA’s quick-swap work space permits these substrates to be simply positioned and prepared for 3D printing. Versatile substrates could be mounted utilizing the NOVA’s Vacuum Desk module, while customized fixturing could be employed when mounting inflexible substrates. A threaded mounting grid can also be out there and could be custom-made and tailor-made to go well with consumer wants. 

Display screen printable supplies are available a variety of viscosities, and might possess quite a few rheological properties. These properties will also be influenced by temperature, which might pose challenges with micro-dispensing. 

To alleviate these challenges, the NOVA incorporates a closed-loop strain sensing system, with a heater additionally being built-in into the 3D printer’s Sensible Dispenser. That is stated to permit for a better stage of consistency and management all through the 3D printing course of. Customers also can create and save dishing out profiles, making it simpler to 3D print with a variety of supplies.   

The NOVA also can 3D print at resolutions as little as 17µm/pixel. This functionality is attributed to the NOVA’s downward-facing imaginative and prescient system, which permits for exact alignment/registration with an AR overlay. That is stated to allow high-end inspection, alignment, and measurement capabilities.   

“I believe the place this form of know-how, NOVA, will shine is in functions that weren’t attainable earlier than. You shouldn’t battle or attempt to compete with silicon chips or PCBs. It is best to attempt to make one thing that’s not possible with these applied sciences,” acknowledged Gerd Grau, Director of the Electronics Additive Manufacturing Lab at York College. Grau is utilizing the NOVA to develop on-skin biomedical tattoo electrodes.   

The NOVA allows for the 3D printing of soft and stretchable electronics. Photo via Business Wire.The NOVA permits for the 3D printing of soppy and stretchable electronics. Photograph by way of Enterprise Wire.

Technical specs and pricing  

Potential clients can contact Voltera’s gross sales workforce for pricing data.  

Dishing out technologyDirect ink write (DIW)Dimensions675 mm x 605 mm x 345 mm Stress management Closed loop Materials temperature management As much as 40℃3D print space 220 mm x 300 mm XYZ decision 2.5 µm x 7 µm x 1.25 µmSubstrate thickness As much as 30 mm2Substrates Inflexible: PCBs, glass, ceramic, and many others.
Versatile: Polyimide, PET, and many others. 
Stretchable: TPU, and many others. 
Porous: PaperSyringe capacityUp to 2.5 mLDispensable supplies Embrace: Solder paste, Conductor 3, Display screen printable materialsInterface Net utility File codecs Gerber Connectivity 1x USB-A 2.0, 1x USB-A 3.0, Ethernet, WiFi

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