Senior Technology Analyst IDTechEx, England, United Kingdom
Incorporating electronic functionality into new settings offers huge potential to add sensing, communication, energy harvesting, and other capabilities in both domestic and industrial contexts. However, at present, incorporating electronics into devices generally involves finding space for the rigid rectangle of a PCB. Flexible electronics of course enables electronics to be added to a smooth object's surface or wrapped around a curve, but what about embedding electronics within the object itself?
Achieving this compelling ambition is the aim of 3D hybrid electronics. Electronic functionality can either be added directly to the surface of a 3D object or integrated within the structure itself during fully additive manufacturing.
3D/additive electronics has applications across multiple sectors and length scales, ranging from IC and sensor packaging to replacing wiring harnesses. Advantages include integrating electronics in previously challenging locations, reduced material consumption, and decoupling the existing inverse relationship between price and volume via digital manufacturing.
This talk will provide an overview of the emerging area of 3D hybrid electronics, outlining strategies and manufacturing methods. A roadmap outlining development directions and timelines across different applications will be presented. The talk will also include an assessment of the current market, along with identification of technical gaps and associated innovation opportunities.