At the conference, Optomec will showcase a groundbreaking 3D Printed Sensor application that was developed working with its customer General Electric (GE). The production solution utilizes Optomec’s Aerosol Jet system to print passive strain sensors directly onto turbine blades used in an industrial gas turbine.
The sensors are composed of a ceramic material that can withstand the very high operating temperatures seen in the hot section of the gas turbine. These sensors can detect deformations in the underlying metal that could ultimately result in an expensive and sometimes catastrophic failure. The data from the sensors has a direct tie to GE’s Predix software platform, demonstrating the digital convergence between Additive Manufacturing and the Internet of Things.
Additionally, Optomec will display functional devices produced with Aerosol Jet systems, such as 3D printed sensors and antennas, semiconductor packaging, and Internet of Things applications. Aerosol Jet technology is currently used in mass production for printing 3D conformal antennas and sensors for consumer electronics devices at the LITE-ON Mobile Mechanical SBG (LITE-ON) factory in Guangzhou, China.
Also, Matthew Schrandt, Optomec Aerosol Jet applications engineer, will give a presentation titled “3D Printing of Flexible Circuits and Sensors.” Schrandt will explain how sensors can be printed onto 3D and flexible substrates using a variety of conductive metal and resistive materials. Aerosol Jet is an ideal printing tool for precision deposition of polymeric and metal inks for sensors. The process is a non-contact, high resolution printing technology that is compatible with a wide range of conductive, insulating, and resistive materials. Schrandt will present the functionality of printed strain gauges and thermocouple sensors in terms of robustness with flexing, thermal coefficients, resistance stability, gauge performance, and thermocouple Seebeck coefficient.