Israeli 3D Printing tech startup Nano Dimensions raised US$11 million in an undisclosed funding round to develop a 3D circuit board printer called DragonFly 2020. The startup aims to disrupt the distribution and manufacture of consumer electronics by eliminating 3rd party suppliers, such as low-cost factories in Asia.
According to Nano Dimensions CMO and Co-Founder Simon Fried, the first batch of the 3D circuit board printers will be launched in 2016. Fried believes that the “implications could be revolutionary,” especially for electronics manufacturers as it would enable them to produce prototypes much faster than ever before.
Currently, the development of printed circuit boards are done in factories in China or Taiwan. To produce a printed circuit board, a sheet of fiberglass covered with copper must undergo a process called chemical etching, which rids the unnecessary copper around the circuit board. With the Nano Dimensions’ 3D circuit printer however, the circuit boards are produced within a few hours, completing the complicated process of chemical etching automatically.
Fried stated, “For larger companies that buy the printer, it will speed up their development cycle. For smaller companies, if you’re a startup and you live or die by how quickly you can get something to market, this could make or break you.”
Although startups including Voltera and Squink have previously developed circuit board 3D printers, DragonFly 2020 is set to be the world’s first 3D Printer to print multilayer circuit boards which meet the standards of the IPC.
Fried announced, “We decided ink jet technology was the best for this. That is the route we went down.”