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Nano Dimension Ltd., an additive electronics provider, announced the results of the Electrifying Additive Manufacturing Survey, which found nearly 91 percent of respondents expect 3D printed electronics will be a strategic direction. More than three quarters (76%) are already exploring the technology for design validation (31%), prototyping (40%) and low-volume custom manufacturing (29%). 

The global survey to help understand 3D printed electronics and its future applications, surveyed 159 respondents including engineers, designers and businesses decision makers across multiple industry sectors. The findings show that 3D printed electronics technology is important for their agility and their ability to accelerate product development, realize greater design innovation and build more complex geometries – all of which will help them stay ahead of competitors. 

With more than 75 percent of respondents saying they rely on short-run, low-volume external PCB prototyping services, and 73 percent of respondents saying they go through at least two and often more than three iterations before reaching the final prototyping and testing phase, it’s not surprising there is much interest in in-house 3D printing for printed electronics. Levels of confidence about being vulnerable to IP theft were high. Almost 70 percent of respondents said they worry about their intellectual property when they send their designs to third-party prototyping facilities.

Within the very competitive electronics landscape, companies also face concerns over issues such as prototyping lead times. Survey respondents noted the lead times for receiving their prototypes when they use outside prototyping facilities range from 1 to 2 weeks (37 percent), while 33 percent cited times of 2 to 4 weeks, and 11 percent said it can take longer than 4 weeks. Just 19 percent said it took less than a week.

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