DragonFly 2020 3D printer


I wonder what the solder ability of that silver ink is. Does anyone have more information on the inks they use?


That’s pretty cool. Why didn’t I think of just printing the entire PCB instead of just printing traces on top of PCB board? That solves all the problems with making multilayer boards.

For answers to your question, see the FAQ at the bottom of the page…

I think it will be limited to SMT only since I dont think this will do through hole components. I wonder how close to a standard PCB will it get. I also wonder if the dielectric will be flame retardant like Copper Clad FR-4. So many possibilities.

I hope they succeed.

[quote=“Mr. John Smith”]
I think it will be limited to SMT only since I dont think this will do through hole components. [/quote]

Why do you say that? It clearly shows in the video them printing thru holes & vias and the FAQ says the results can be treated just like traditional PCBs.

Now that I think about it, yes it could do through holes. I had assumed from the video that they have to start fabricating on a substrate; that would prohibit through holes. But they only have to print empty space to do things like through holes, or board cutouts. even if they had to start with a substrate, technically it could be very thin.

I wonder if this could be done with electroplated carbomorph.

Available in 2020?

Nice concept but where is the real printer? All I see again is 3D models. There are some static shots showing an arm on what could be real but impossible to tell as photo editing is good these days.

It says commercially available middle of 2016 so we might just have to wait and see but if that date is real, production would need to be already started?

Not always… Do you think this would make an effective thru-hole? :wink:

I think its fair to think they probably have a product. The inks would be the only revolutionary part to this. Other than that its just a 3D printer. Now, it sounds like it might be somewhat revolutionary in that it sounds more like an inkjet printer with a Z axis. But, all those techs are at a point where its believable that someone has built this.

1 Like

It just occurred to me that this is nothing more than an ink company. I mean, how hard is it to deposit ink? Couldn’t they have started small, with a crowd source campaign or something. 2.2M raised and operating since 2012, and nothing to show for it?

Edit: Sorry that’s 13.1 Million and operating since 2014.

@ ianlee74 - Given the illustration they’re showing, the printer would need to have at least two sets of nozzles. One for the conductive ink(s), and another for the deposition of the substrate. Unless they’ve come up with some groundbreaking new feature, I’ve not heard of any ink that can be efficiently built up into 3D layers, so one would assume they would be printing the substrate using standard thermal deposition of ABS or PLA.

I’d love to believe something like this is close to being available, but I think the video at best oversells what is possible today. Someday, we will be able to buy an affordable desktop unit that can make multi-layer prototype boards end-to-end. I’m skeptical that day is today, or within the next couple of years.

When I was at Xerox, we talked about conductive and restive inks and the possibility to print traces, resistors, capacitors, and more.

@ Blue Hair Bob - i hope you had nothing to do with creating XPIF… bain of my life :open_mouth:
MSRC played with printing circuits with conductive inks etc, being silver based it wasnt cheap…

I know about creating copper nano particle ink using Copper Sulfate, Vitamin C and Polyvinylpyrrolidone, which can be jetted with peizo jet technology. So I wonder why people want to use silver so much. I think that the dielectric is just a high temp epoxy.

Of course, that ink is their groundbreaking new feature. I don’t find it unreasonable to think they’ve invented such a thing. Heck, with a fancy mixing head you could probably achieve a crude version of this using 5 min epoxy.

I seriously doubt that considering their claims that the end product can be soldered (and presumably oven baked).

Did you see this on their page?

@ ianlee74 - Missed the claim about soldering/baking…my bad.

Still, I’ll believe it when I see it in full operation, rather than a promo video. :slight_smile:

In this video from a year ago you can see where they’ve been headed. I think that’s a different printer but appears to be a predecessor to the Dragonfly. You can see they’ve got the conductive ink down. It’s not unreasonable to believe they’ve added the dialectric since then. Printing with two heads is certainly not new technology.

@ ianlee74 - yea I saw their propriety copper ink thing. I don’t think it’s the same as the one i’m referring to since if they tried to patent that, we’d be able to use a you tube video to show prior art

@ ianlee74 - I’m not seeing the big deal in that video. Printing conductive ink isn’t an advancement at all. Printing on glass, a very stable surface, even less so, IMO.

Being able to produce multilayer boards that are 3D printed would be a big deal, but I’m not seeing any evidence from either video that they’re actually able to do that yet. I just watched the original video again, and I don’t see where they claim the boards this printer will produce are bakable or solderable. Where are you seeing that?

Either way, until they’re able to produce more than a fancy marketing video with 3D renders, or a video of printing on glass, I think skepticism is warranted.

That’s really my point. There’s nothing new or hard about any part of 3D printing multilayer PCBs except for the inks. So, they’ve proven that they have a conductive ink and that they can print it. So, the only thing missing is that they can show they have a dialectric ink. Beyond that its just hardware and software that we’ve been using for decades now. I have no idea if they have it but I don’t find it hard to believe that they do.

See the FAQ on their website.

Agreed. I’m not suggesting anyone go throw money at them until then but I can easily imagine this product being released in 2016.