The aim of the Hy3DPro project is to develop a demonstrator of a low-cost multi-material 3D printer by integrating a classic filament extruder (FDM technology) with a printhead for direct printing of metals (StarJet technology) into an automated 3D printing system. With this novel hybrid 3D printing platform, mechanical components and conductive 3D structures integrated into them can be produced by applying the two materials layer by layer according to digital designs. Advantages of the StarJet technology developed at IMTEK compared to other printing techniques are the use of low-cost metal alloys, high electrical conductivity and simple printing of conductive 3D structures. In addition, the printed solder adheres well to polymer substrates such as PET films and 3D-printed surfaces. After the printing process, the structures show high flexibility and low electrical resistance.
It is important for innovative companies to quickly find solutions for the specific, rapidly changing requirements of their customers and thus also to be able to serve niche applications. The results of this project should help to open up a completely new area of digital manufacturing. Namely, the 3D printing of hybrid polymer-metal structures for applications in the prototyping of electrical 3D circuit carriers, 3D-MID components, 3D electronics and even the small series production of electrical components and antennas integrated into housings.