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The challenges of electronics manufacturing

Introduction

For the electronics industry, adaptability and scalability are key points during the manufacturing process. Wondering how to find the perfect manufacturing technique allowing your business to innovate, adapt, and grow? We’ll focus on the challenges of electronics manufacturing and the answers that can be brought by technologies such as additive manufacturing. We’ll also see how choosing the right suppliers will help you reach the perfect achievement. 

Manufacturing electronics products

Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) is a term used for companies that design, manufacture, test, distribute, and provide return/repair services for electronics components and assemblies for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), or Electronics Contract Manufacturing (ECM). Many consumer electronics are built in China, due to maintenance cost or availability of materials. The electronics manufacturing process is full of challenges. Finding the perfect manufacturer that will help you turn your idea into a high-quality product, using a cost-effective process can already be a big challenge. Another important aspect of an electronics project is fabrication of your printed circuit board (or PCB). These green boards are what make the electronic device function. It connects all components inside so the device can be used for what it is intended to do. From the creation of the design to the fabrication of the substrate, the pattern and all the attaching, fusing, drilling steps, this printed circuit board assembly (or pcb assembly) part is already overwhelming.

So what if you were only focused on this complex process and simplify the manufacturing process for all the other parts you might need from connectors or housing to sheaths and tools. All these components are also a way to improve your product’s value and performance and their manufacturing process shouldn’t be neglected.

What additive manufacturing has to offer you

Electronics and 3D printing: An overview

3D printing for electronics is not not a new application for additive manufacturing, and a lot of new experiments are made each year to find new solutions for your projects. From conductive 3D printing to fully 3D printed devices, researchers are pushing the boundaries of 3D printing to create tomorrow’s new manufacturing process. This innovative technology could allow creating 3D printed devices like LED, or touch sensors. But this ability to 3D print conductive devices could be involved in bigger projects, in soft robotics, 3D electronics, and also for communication devices such as 3D printed Near Field Communication (NFC) antennas.

But for now, additive manufacturing might already be the ally you need to boost your business. Plenty of different projects, from custom housings to adapted connectors, any devices needing more adaptability, can be made using additive manufacturing.

Additive manufacturing offers a lot of advantages for your products but also for your manufacturing process. Improve and optimize your supply-chain, make the most of more flexibility and adaptability. The electronics manufacturing industry is starting to understand the full potential of additive manufacturing, and so should you.

Additive manufacturing improves your process

Thanks to new design opportunities you will benefit from more freedom. Design for additive manufacturing is a way to rethink and optimize your electronic projects. But additive manufacturing will help you grow by rethinking your business strategy and improving your manufacturing process from prototyping to production. Implementing 3D printing has a big impact on supply-chain and will definitly bring more efficiency.

Making adjustments and customizations while respecting both your budget and deadlines is impossible with traditional manufacturing techniques. 3D printing is offering a high-level of functional integration, combined with advanced customization opportunities. This manufacturing technique will help you increase customers’ satisfaction by delivering resistant, on-demand, good-looking electronics parts. 

There is no doubt that implementing additive manufacturing in your business strategy and using its full potential will help your business grow. 3D printing offers many benefits from the early prototyping stages to series production of your parts. By simulating, testing and iterating with additive manufacturing you will speed up your product development and improve the performance of your parts. Make the most of on-demand manufacturing, get your parts when you need them and add more flexibility to your production process.

Additive manufacturing improves your products

Create on-demand parts, perfectly adapted to the specific needs of your projects. You will get the possibility to iterate and adapt your parts as necessary or opt for mass-customization to make unique electronics components adapted to each customer’s requirements and to the specificities of your project.

Make the most of additive manufacturing to create accessories, connectors or any other modifications to your project. The design can be customized to fit the functional features and the exact components you need. The design of your electronics parts can also be perfectly adapted to the needs and requirements of your projects. 

Design for additive manufacturing allows to take into account all the specificities of your project and create unique structures. Indeed, 3D printing is the perfect solution to create complex parts, impossible to manufacture with traditional techniques such as injection molding or CNC machining. While creating designs for 3D printing, you don’t have to worry about the constraints of traditional manufacturing techniques anymore: this leaves more space for innovation and adds freedom to your process. Don’t think about what is possible, think about what you need!

How can Sculpteo help you manufacture your electronics parts?

  • Scale your production

Do you want to improve your reactivity to market demands, implement more flexibility in your process and optimize your costs? Scalable manufacturing can help you with these crucial aspects. Additive manufacturing is particularly adapted to the scalability of your business and we’ll see with you how this manufacturing can become your best ally.

Benefit from better lead times and reduce your time-to-market. Using additive manufacturing will speed your manufacturing process. Instead of developing time-consuming and costly molds before starting the manufacturing process, with 3D printing, everything can be done in a few days.

Moreover, keep in mind that there is no minimum order quantity, you are free to adapt your production to the variability of demand. From prototypes to mass production: produce what you need when you need it with Sculpteo, with the exact quantity you need. You will see that this manufacturing method will also help you optimize your costs!

  • Optimize your parts by rethinking your products design

Thanks to our Sculpteo Studio team, use the full potential of Design for Additive and get the freedom and flexibility to develop your electronics projects! Sculpteo Studio’s team is here to support you at any stage of your project, from helping you identify the 3D printing opportunities of your company to the manufacturing process of your finished parts. Get support from experienced 3D printing experts from prototyping to production and learn how to think additive to create electronic parts with integrated assembly and smart design or structures.

  • Access perfectly adapted materials

Using materials such as Nylon PA12 or Ultrasint® PA11 are perfect to create custom housing for your electronic devices. These are perfect options for large scale manufacturing. 

Ultrasint® PA11 is a bio-derived powder with exceptionally high toughness. This material has the particularity of offering high ductility and impact strength for your electronic applications. You can also choose Nylon PA12 which is interesting for its high precision and low cost. The good mechanical properties of this nylon material will be perfect for more advanced additive manufacturing projects and can even substitute injection molding plastics.

At Sculpteo, we are now offering you the possibility to manufacture your ESD-safe parts. If you are prototyping or producing a project where electrostatic discharging safety is critical, our Ultrasint® PA11 ESD material will be a perfect choice. What is called “electrostatic discharge” (ESD) is the flow of electricity between two electrically charged parts caused by contact. Electrostatic Discharges are a real problem and can damage sensitive electronic components. It can also lead to the alteration of magnetic media and set off fires or explosions in flammable environments! ESD is a big concern for the electronic industry, and being able to manufacture ESD-safe part is a real advantage.

Ultrasint® PA11 ESD is a bio-derived material, appearing to be a perfect choice for increased process safety in advanced applications. With its interesting mechanical properties, this material offers new possibilities for a wide range of new applications, especially for the electronics sector. Indeed, with its low resistivity, Ultrasint® PA11 ESD is reducing the risk of electrostatically induced damage or failures,  the material does not accumulate static electricity and can come in contact with electronic components without running any risk. The surface resistivity of Ultrasint® PA11 ESD is lower than traditional electrostatic dissipating materials. You can now make the most of the advantages of both additive manufacturing and electrostatic discharge properties. For electronic housing, electronic jigs and fixtures, this material is perfectly adapted. PA11 ESD also has other advantages and interesting mechanical properties such as high tensile strength and elasticity, which could help you create efficient tools. What are you waiting for? With this material, you can create parts combining superior mechanical and thermal characteristics with outstanding electrostatic discharging properties. Get your parts 3D printed with Ultrasint® PA11 ESD by uploading your 3D file on our 3D printing service right now. It will only take a few clicks and you will get an instant quote

  • An easy process, for reliable and quality results

At Sculpteo we have the experience and the technologies to help your business grow and face new challenges. For more than 10 years, Sculpteo has supported businesses in a variety of industries to make the most of 3D printing. electronic manufacturing is not an exception, and we know we can partner with your company to bring you further, using innovative manufacturing. Enjoy our quality control

 

Already have a 3D file? Feel free to upload your 3D model on our online 3D printing service. If you are now considering using additive manufacturing to develop your business but have no clue how to get started, contact us, our team is waiting to hear from you.

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