FATHOM and Nano Dimension announced an agreement to collaborate on the introduction of DragonFly 2020, an innovative inkjet system that allows designers and engineers to 3D print professional multi-layer circuit boards. Bringing this 3D printer to the United States, especially the Silicon Valley and greater West Coast area, is an exciting announcement for the companies involved, FATHOM’s customers, and the electronics industry at-large. Have a question? Check out these frequently asked questions to learn more.
When was the announcement made?
FATHOM and Nano Dimension released a statement on March 22 (read the press release). In September of 2016, FATHOM received the first DragonFly 2020 3D printer in North America (read the announcement). Brian Cooley of CNET was recently at FATHOM, looking at the beta system in-person (watch video).
I am interested in purchasing the DragonFly 2020—how can I get a sample part and when will the first PCB printers be available for preorder?
Thank you for your interest! Sample parts can be requested and pre-orders are to be announced. Fill out the form on the right, and you’ll be notified immediately by FATHOM when the system is available for purchase. Experts at FATHOM are currently using the beta system in-house and working with the Nano Dimension team directly. FATHOM does not currently offer services for the system.
The rapid prototyping capabilities of the DragonFly 2020 3D printer for professional electronics changes the way product development team think and work—what is the ideal application for the DragonFly 2020 3D Printer?
The innovative hardware, dedicated nano-inks, and novel software by Nano Dimension from FATHOM bring new possibilities to a wide range of research and development, prototyping, and custom manufacturing projects. Teams no longer have to wait days or weeks for a custom PCB prototype because the DragonFly 2020 offers the flexibility to 3D print an entire board or just parts of it. Designers and engineers can develop the RF and digital sections of the board in parallel—test and iterate on the fly. The result is greater progress, improved innovation, fewer development risks, faster time-to-market, and ultimately, better products. Learn more about Nano Dimension’s printers and Nano inks on their website.
What are the technical specification of the system? Printer heads, build tray, equipment dimensions, etc.
0.004” traces // 0.006” interconnections // minimum layer thickness of 0.00012”
|Technology||Inkjet From Cartridge||Accuracy||0.01 mm|
|Print Heads||2 (one per material)||Build Plate||20 cm x 20 cm|
|Build Volume XYZ||20 cm x 20 cm 0.3 cm||Operating System||Win, Mac, Linux|
|Software||Proprietary||Material||Conductive and Dielectric Inks|
|Dimensions||100 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm||Network||Ethernet TCP/IP 10/100 Base T, Wifi|
|Weight||80 kg.||File Types||Gerber & Tiff|
|Power Supply||110-240V ac, 50-60 Hz, 12A||Compliance||CE/FCC/RoHS/UL (in progress)|
|Resolution||X: 720 dpi Y: 720 dpi Z: 8500 dpi||Operational Environment||Temp: 66°F-79°F|
In addition to the conductive silver inks, are dielectric inks also available for the DragonFly 2020 3D printing system?
Yes—structural dielectric inks developed at Nano Dimension create insulating barriers that support optimal performance of conductive inks. The inks can be used in a variety of printed electronic applications, such as the build-up of multiple layers in PCBs.
- AgCite Highly Conductive Silver Inks for Inkjet (Learn More)
- Dielectric Inks For Printed Electronics (Learn More)
Are there part layer and thickness limitations?
No—there is no limit to the number of layers beyond the mechanical height of the z axis.
What is the 3D printing speed for the DragonFly 2020?
Speed depends on the number of layers, the complexity of the circuits, and the board size. For example, a large, complex, 10-layer circuit board will take several hours to 3D print.
How do the inks cure? Is there an extra step?
There is an integrated sintering process that cures the inks during the build to achieve the desired conductivity and adhesion.
Can the DragonFly 2020 3D printer make flexible circuit boards?
Yes—more information will be released soon.
Can the printed PCBs be used in high-speed digital or RF application?
Yes, the performance of the dielectric and conductive materials is being characterized for these applications – more information to come.
Does the printed PCB have any limitations? For example, is there a maximum current or specific temperature ranges? Can the 3D printed PCB be used like regular copper based PCBs?
The inks are engineered to behave as similarly to copper as chemistry allows—more information to come.
Can the printed PCBs be soldered like any other PCB today?
Yes—the multi-layer printed circuit board made on a DragonFly 2020 can be soldered like a production-made one.