3D Systems 3D Printing With Conductive Ink For Project Ara Antennas
That would enable the team to print items such as antennas, which is something the Project Ara team is doing in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University and X5 Systems.
X5 Systems Project Ara antenna prototypes
X5 Systems has intriguing technology called AntSyn (short for “antenna synthesis”) that uses AI software to automatically design an antenna based on parameters the user inputs which then physically creates an antenna with the correct patterns, frequency characteristics, and so on. You can also run simulation tests on the antenna designs, which can provide valuable feedback.
X5 Systems and 3D Systems can work hand in hand to develop a way to marry the ability to automatically generate antenna designs with the ability to print those designs using conductive ink embedded in a Project Ara module, or the Project Ara endo itself.
3D Systems is also developing a “continuous, high-speed 3D printing production platform and fulfillment system to accommodate production-level speeds and volume”, as opposed to the old “reciprocating” method that takes much longer due to frequent slowdowns (or speed-ups).
The company is also working on increasing material strength--which is a good thing, because the Project Ara shell prototypes feel a bit delicate--and also the ability to print in full CMYKWT color.
Project Ara should become a reality someday (Google thinks that day will be sometime this January), but even if turns out to be vaporware, the project is pushing innovation for 3D printing, and that’s not a bad thing.