industry news
Subscribe Now

InnovationLab demonstrates breakthrough PCB production method based on additive manufacturing

A sustainable and cost-efficient solution to replace etching processes

Heidelberg, Germany – August 4, 2022 – InnovationLab, the expert in printed electronics “from lab to fab”, announces it has achieved a breakthrough in additive manufacturing of printed circuit boards (PCBs), helping meet higher environmental standards for electronics production while also reducing costs.

Within the research project SmartEEs2, funded by Horizon 2020, InnovationLab and its partner ISRA have developed a novel manufacturing process for copper-based solderable circuits. The circuits are screen printed and are compatible with conventional reflow processes.

Producing printed electronics is an additive process that does not use toxic etchants, and runs at comparatively low temperatures of around 150ºC, thus reducing energy consumption. Moreover, the substrates used in additive PCB manufacturing are up to 15 times thinner, compared to conventional techniques, which reduces material consumption and means the production process has less waste.

InnovationLab has so far produced a physical prototype, which includes all the important blocks of a smart label. It uses a copper ink to ensure high conductivity. Component mounting can be done in a conventional reflow soldering process, which enables manufacturers to switch to the new technology without investment in new equipment.

Multilayer layer printing, metal and dielectric, was used to produce the target functionality: a low power temperature sensor and logger, an NFC communication interface via a printed antenna, and a compact battery that is charged from a printed solar cell, making the device completely self-sufficient. The new process can produce both standard and flexible PCBs with up to four layers and can be used in product and process development for hybrid electronics.

Dr. Janusz Schinke, Head of Printed Electronics at InnovationLab, said, “This is a state-of-the-art production process, which will decrease costs and reduce logistical dependencies on suppliers, while delivering three key benefits for the environment: consuming fewer materials, using less energy, and producing less waste. By the end of this year, we expect to have scaled this process to high volumes, meeting customer demands of a million solderable tracks or more.”

SmartEEs2 is a European project, which is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. Its objective is to provide acceleration support to innovative companies for the integration of flexible and wearable electronics technologies, and thus to help European industry’s competitiveness.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Nov 23, 2022
The current challenge in custom/mixed-signal design is to have a fast and silicon-accurate methodology. In this blog series, we are exploring the Custom IC Design Flow and Methodology stages. This methodology directly addresses the primary challenge of predictability in creat...
Nov 22, 2022
Learn how analog and mixed-signal (AMS) verification technology, which we developed as part of DARPA's POSH and ERI programs, emulates analog designs. The post What's Driving the World's First Analog and Mixed-Signal Emulation Technology? appeared first on From Silicon To So...
Nov 21, 2022
By Hossam Sarhan With the growing complexity of system-on-chip designs and technology scaling, multiple power domains are needed to optimize… ...
Nov 18, 2022
This bodacious beauty is better equipped than my car, with 360-degree collision avoidance sensors, party lights, and a backup camera, to name but a few....

featured video

Unique AMS Emulation Technology

Sponsored by Synopsys

Learn about Synopsys' collaboration with DARPA and other partners to develop a one-of-a-kind, high-performance AMS silicon verification capability. Please watch the video interview or read it online.

Read the interview online:

featured paper

Algorithm Verification with FPGAs and ASICs

Sponsored by MathWorks

Developing new FPGA and ASIC designs involves implementing new algorithms, which presents challenges for verification for algorithm developers, hardware designers, and verification engineers. This eBook explores different aspects of hardware design verification and how you can use MATLAB and Simulink to reduce development effort and improve the quality of end products.

Click here to read more

featured chalk talk

Quick Connect IoT

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Renesas

Rapid prototyping is a vital first element to get your next IoT design into the real world. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Brad Rex from Renesas and Amelia Dalton examine Renesas’ new Quick Connect IoT out of the box IoT solution that combines well-defined API and middleware with certified module solutions to make rapid prototyping faster and easier than ever before. They also investigate how the Quick Connect IoT integrated software can help MCUs, sensors and connectivity devices communicate effectively and how you can get started using Quick-Connect IoT for your next IoT design.

Click here for more information about Renesas Electronics Quick Connect IoT