Electrically conductive polymers as substitutes for metallic components

DISPLAX is a Portuguese research and development company focused on providing projected capacitive technology for large-format displays, typically ranging from 20 to 105 inches.

These displays are controlled by tags, which through electromagnetism, allow touch detection by DISPLAX films.DISPLAX Skin Ultra can detect up to 6 tags simultaneously, allowing the user to experience an immersive and innovative multimedia experience. For each tag, content can be adapted to the object placed on the table, thus creating a fusion between the physical and digital worlds.

By using 3D printing with composites that are electrically conductive, it is possible to print objects that replace metallic components. In this case, an alternative to the aluminum tags already used was sought.

Displax Case Studie - 3d printed parts

The initial need arose because more units were required in a short period of time, but it was quickly realized that the printed tags offered a set of advantages greater than those anticipated.

“As tags impressas têm uma performance superior, oferecendo uma capacidade de detecção melhor, a um custo de produção inferior e com fabrico mais rápido”
Miguel Fonseca – CEO da DISPLAX

Displax Case Studie - 3d printed parts

With a lead time of less than 24 hours, 6 tags with distinct patterns were produced. These patterns vary depending on the function they should activate but also served to test which patterns worked best. With a body made of normal polymer – non-conductive – and a center and top made of conductive composite, an integrated product ready to use was obtained straight from the printer.

 

In addition to performance benefits, cost reduction, and process time savings, a more agile production process is achieved, where it is possible to test and validate new iterations, sometimes overnight – given XPIM – 3D Printing’s high production capacity. Commitment to a specific design or version is also reduced, and there is no longer a need to create stock; production is tailored to emerging needs.

Benefits:

  • 95% reduction in lead time
  • 67% cost reduction
  • Improved performance and usability index
  • Ease of customization