HORIZON ANNOUNCES EXPANSION OF SERVICE TO INCLUDE SUBCONTRACT MICRO-AM PRODUCTION AND DESIGN SUPPORT

When producing exceptionally precise and tight tolerance parts and components, the significance and added value of a vertically integrated development and manufacturing partner becomes paramount.

(9th May 2024, Karlsruhe, Germany) Horizon Microtechnologies today announces that it is offering a micro-AM subcontract service for customers interested in exploring the possibilities that exist through the use of AM for precise and small scale parts and components but do not have the expertise or infrastructure to undertake production in house.


Andreas Frölich, CEO at Horizon says, "Horizon provides a suite of in-house coating processes that add material and functionality to a microstructure. Very often the microstructure that we coat is made using micro-AM, and we offer a truly vertically integrated service assisting companies in part design, in-house micro-AM production, and then in-house coating. We understand that there are a large number of companies that have heard of micro-AM but have not as yet experienced just how precise and repeatable it is as a production process today. Therefore, it is a natural step for Horizon to extend its service to produce and design micro-AM parts and components for customers whether they need post-process coating or not. There is a requirement for a significant expertise to operate micro-AM technologies optimally. At Horizon we have this expertise and look forward to using it on behalf of companies looking to take exploit the inherent process advantages that micro-AM can offer."

When producing exceptionally precise and tight tolerance parts and components, the significance and added value of a vertically integrated development and manufacturing partner becomes paramount. First and foremost, the early inclusion of manufacturability considerations along the full microfabrication process-chain in design decisions reduces the number of iterations during the product development phase. This concurrently reduces the time-to-market and overall product development costs. Furthermore, seamless linking of the separate production steps entails tight control and coordination over the various stages of production, from raw material sourcing to final assembly. In the context of precision manufacturing, this approach ensures seamless quality control, optimal material selection, streamlined communication, and enhanced process efficiency. Importantly, the interdependencies of the different process steps are established, so the manufacturing process' execution is fully transparent and can be tightly controlled.

Frölich continues, "At Horizon, we are introducing the use of AM to application areas that have not considered it a viable technology due to its historical lack of precision, and also on the micro level due to its limited palette of materials. However, it needs to be considered that micro-AM is today able routinely to achieve single micron tolerances and surface finishes with 0.4 micron Ra repeatably with 10 micron XY optical resolution. So it is now possible to use micro-AM for exacting production applications where ultra-high resolution, accuracy and precision are critical to part functionality. We look forward to opening up the possibilities that can be achieved through the use of micro-AM to customers moving forward, and showing how this agile production process can be cost-effective, open up design freedom, and stimulate innovation in numerous application areas across an array of industries."

In addition to offering a sub-contract micro-AM service for customers, where appropriate Horizon also offers a suite of proprietary coating processes which allow customers to successfully expand the functionality of parts which are typically produced in plastics on commercially available micro-AM platforms. The coatings allow for homogeneous and precise coating of 3D substrates, and selective coating of parts is possible. Coatings available include HMT-Metal (copper with >25% of bulk copper conductivity); HMT-Protect (ceramic-like protective coatings that increase resilience against external influences such as chemicals, abrasion or elevated temperatures); and HMT-Conductive (transparent conductive coatings with sheet resistances between a few kOhm/sq and approx. 100 Ohm/sq.).

www.3dmicrofabrication.com

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