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Additive manufacturing is part of the Australian-made story

Circuitwise recently visited the additive manufacturing ProtoSpace at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) as part of its professional development program for key staff, ensuring we understand the cutting edge of all technologies relevant to product development.

UTS’s 900m² lab houses some of the most advanced manufacturing equipment in the southern hemisphere, including machines for 3D printing of thermoplastics, photopolymers, composites, reinforced plastics, metals and more.

The most immediate value of the facility for Circuitwise customers is the ability to prototype mechanical components in product development.

The facility is capable of printing objects up to one cubic metre in size, with multiple stiffnesses across plastic components (hard and soft plastics in one part). Any colour can be printed, helping with testing the product’s aesthetics. The plastics used are the same as that used in high volume production, ensuring your prototypes accurately reflect your final product

The Circuitwise team with the ProtoSpace staff at their facility

Of particular interest was the facility’s ability to rapidly print bare PCBs of any shape and size, which may be useful in some circumstances. High strength plastics can also be printed which could be useful in test jigs and fixture applications.

Circuitwise General Manager Serena Ross said additive manufacturing was a key element of the drive toward advanced manufacturing needed to rebuild manufacturing in Australia.

“We have invested in the most advanced PCB Assembly equipment possible to bring electronics manufacturing to cost parity with Asia,” Ross says. “If companies take advantage of the complementary equipment available at facilities like the ProtoSpace, then Australian manufacturing will be on the path to competitiveness, particularly for high-value-add products like those in medical and mining applications.”

For more information visit the ProtoSpace website.


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