| After several experiments with different materials, the ASTRON instrument shop has successfully 3D-printed five parts of a 2x2 focus array for the Gridpix detector that is in development at NIKHEF.
The parts consist of alternating layers of electrically conductive and non-conductive plastic. In this case the conductive element in the plastic is Carbon (black), while the other layers are regular plastic with any color you like. The idea is that the black bits can be electro-plated with copper.
This is yet another step towards the use of 3D-printing for the cheap and environmentally-friendly manufacture of 3D electronics. For instance advanced antennas, or other systems that require the greater design freedom of 3 dimensions.
It also shows that there are multiple layers of synergy between NWO institutes (e.g. NIKHEF and ASTRON).
Jan Idserda (ASTRON), Rob Walet (NIKHEF)
(Typical size of the focus block is 50 mm)