Over the last 18 months Nanofabrica has moved out of stealth mode and into a fully commercial position, and the company has recently branded its successful micro additive manufacturing (AM) technology as the Tera 250.
Through the use of Nanofabrica’s technology, micro manufacturers can now realistically assess a shift to AM from conventional manufacturing processes. OEMs can therefore benefit from the inherent advantages that AM offers in terms of promoting part complexity with no increase in cost, eliminating the needs for expensive tooling, reducing part counts and the need for assembly, speeding product development time, easy revision of part design, mass customization, reduction in waste, and reduction in energy costs.
Nanofabrica’s AM technology combines innovation in materials, software, and hardware to allow the repeatable mass manufacturing of micro parts and components with micron-scale features. Today it is a compelling option for manufacturers in the areas of optics, semi-conductors, electronics, MEMS, micro fluidics, injection molding, and life sciences, making products such as casings for microelectronics, micro springs, micro actuators and micro sensors, and numerous medical components such as micro valves, micro syringes, and micro implantable or surgical devices.
In recent months, the company has also made some crucial advancements in the manufacture of direct rapid soft tooling (DRST) on its platform and has begun to redefine the economics of volume production using AM produced tooling.
Jon Donner, Nanofabrica CEO explains, “Over all the months and years of developing our technology, we never really spent time thinking about giving it a name. For us it has always been our ‘micro-AM technology’, but the time finally came when we all sat down and decided we needed something that would brand the technology effectively. We came up with the Tera 250 as this conveys the most unique aspect of our technology, namely the fact that we manufacture the only commercially available AM platform that can produce micro products with micron resolutions. We have 250 tera voxels in the build volume of the printer, hence the Tera 250!”
250 tera voxels basically means 250 trillion (250 times ten to the power of twelve) voxels in the build area of the printer. There is no other machine with such a voxel capacity, and because of this Nanofabrica’s Tera 250 has the ability to apply so much data onto one part, which means highly precise and micron level accuracy can be achieved.
Tovit Neizer, VP Business Development continues, “Manufacturers have never been able to achieve such precision, accuracy, and resolution, through the use of AM before, and so the technology is truly a game changer. It is the voxel capacity of the Tera 250 that facilitates this, and such capacity is only really required when you are looking at miniaturisation and micro manufacturing. Our voxel capacity means that we can fit a large number of end-use parts in one build volume. For example we can manufacture over 10,000 1 mm x 1 mm x 1 mm parts in a single build. You can see how we are looking at mass manufacture using AM very quickly.”
“For manufacturers this is the goal when looking at AM as a production technology. The ability to mass produce AM parts without the need for time consuming and costly hard tooling, and with all the advantages AM brings in terms of agility and geometric complexity impossible using traditional production techniques is a large step forward for industry,” Donner concludes.