Why Not Print Parts?

June 26, 2006
Print-forming technology from EoPlex allows for thousands of small, complex structures to be built simultaneously.

All that's required to print parts is accommodating the disruptive nature of lithographic parts-making technology, says Arthur L. Chait, CEO and president, EoPlex Technologies, Redwood City, Calif.

He advises starting the evaluation process by discovering the potential for revolutionizing the way small, complex parts are designed and made. The advantages accrue to fingernail-sized parts that can be produced with features such as RF systems and sensors. Chait emphasizes unique cost advantages. "For example, complex parts don't cost more than simple designs." In addition to creating structures not normally feasible, overall production costs can be 20% to 70% less than with conventional processes, he adds.

How it works: design and print in layers, print with multiple materials, followed by sintering. Materials include metals, ceramics, glasses, hybrids, polymers and conductive inks.

Design changes are as fast, low cost and as easy as editing a computer document, Chait adds. EoPlex's market focus: sensors, microreactors, energy harvesting and thermal management. Chait says assemblies with moving parts are possible.

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