Large-scale print-manufacturing of complex 3-D structures is going to the next level using a new additive manufacturing technology called High-Volume Print Forming
Charles S. Taylor, the grandson of Boston Globe publisher Charles H. Taylor, developed manufacturing technology in which converted commercial printing equipment produces tiny layers of materials that stack up to produce complex designs with multiple functions.
That technology is now in the final qualification stage for antennas used in cell phones and is on the verge of becoming a major player in IC packages for portable electronics. Other potential applications include fluidic parts, energy harvesters, fuel cell parts and sensors.
* Variations in design can be manufactured simultaneously without added cost
* Design modifications can be made quickly without expensive hard retooling
* EoPlex devices are in the size range of 5 microns to 50 millimeters and are usually referred to as miniature (not nanotechnology). There are other techniques for creating parts in this size range, but they all have limitations in handling multiple materials in the same part or in degree of geometric complexity. EoPlex fills this gap.
High-Volume Print Forming technology
"The sweet spot for the technology is parts that are about the size of paper clips," says Arthur L. Chait, president and CEO of EoPlex, the company started by Taylor in 2001. "One thing that really differentiates this technology from rapid prototyping is the ability to use many materials."
(10 page pdf) High-Volume Print Forming, HVPF A New Method for Manufacturing Large Volumes of Complex Metal-Ceramic and Hybrid Components
Eoplex's proprietary print-forming technology can produce large volumes of three-dimensional structures from a wide range of metallic and non-metallic materials. The EoPlex process is called High Volume Print-Forming™ (HVPF™). It allows for thousands of small, complex structures to be built simultaneously.
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