The development of new systems requires an ever-growing integration of electronics and sensorization, especially in the optics of Industry 4.0, while simultaneously achieving miniaturization and lightweight design integrity. The direct additive manufacturing of electronic components and subsystems onto structural components and end parts, enables the production of high added value functionalized components with lower weight and size penalties. However, the State-of-the-Art in electronics additive manufacturing is deposition of layer by layer on 2D surfaces. This, together with the technical complexity of electronics additive manufacturing has resulted in very specialized solutions tailored to particular applications, restraining the flexibility and modularity of the manufacturing process.
In SD3DE, a scalable manufacturing tool (prototype machine) using linear based robotic automation system to accommodate the development of printed electronics application over a wide variety of existing 3D mechanical parts/components, and accompanying method, will be developed. This tool and method will enable higher complexity products with integrated electronics. The feasibility of the developed system will be demonstrated in components for the automotive and consumer goods industry, such as self-monitored hydrogen fuel cells.