Image: Nanofabrica

About a week ago, Nano Dimension has announced the acquisition of DeepCube Ltd. (“DeepCube”). The provider of Additively Manufactured Electronics announced yesterday another definitive agreement to acquire another company, NanoFabrica Ltd in this case.

From Machine Learning/Deep Learning (with DeepCube) to precision additive manufacturing (with Nanofabrica), Nano Dimension is up to something “small”.

The manufacturer has purchased its latest venture for a total ranging between $54.9 million to $59.4 million. Out of this amount, between $23 million to $27.5 million will be paid in cash to Nanofabrica – assuming that the latter meets certain performance milestones and the founders of NanoFabrica continue to work for a defined period after the acquisition. Furthermore, the approximate amount of $32 million was paid in American Depositary Shares (ADSs) of Nano Dimension (approximately 30% of which cannot be sold for various periods of up to 24 months after the closing of the transaction). 

Convergence between 3D printed electronics, precision additive manufacturing and ML

With the integration of DeepCUbe’s ML technology, Nano Dimension has shed light on a vision to establish “INDUSTRY 4.0” solutions. This vision is not restricted to the manufacturing of equipment but rather to build an AI/ML “distributed digital fabrication application”.

Given the increasing potential of ML in manufacturing processes, having DeepCube onboard makes perfect sense. With Nanofabrica on the other hand, the need is to fill the gap in micro-printing machine learning (ML).

If you are a regular reader of 3D ADEPT Media, you have certainly read a few applications of Nanofabrica’s Micro Adaptive Projection technology, applications from semiconductors, and optical to medical devices that have a unique micron-resolution with ultra-fine features, details, accuracy, and precision which can be interest for all vertical industries adopting all AM technologies including 3D printed electronics.

For Nano Dimension, this is an opportunity to effectively use digital light processing (DLP) for applications that require extremely high precision – between one to two microns.

In this vein, Yoav Stern, Chief Executive Officer of Nano Dimension, explains:

 “NanoFabrica fits Nano Dimension’s vertical original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) target markets, and as such will be leveraged by the distribution channels and go-to-market efforts of both. In parallel, our mutual vision is to merge the technologies of our micro-electronic 3D-fabrications machines for Hi-PEDsTM (Hi-Performance Electronic Devices) with NanoFabrica’s micro-mechanic 3D printing.  The future of Hi-PEDsTM and miniaturized high-performance printed circuit boards (PCBs) is interlaced with micro-mechanical printing applications to fit the adage “The Next Big thing is Small.”

Furthermore, Stern notes that the “AI/ML/DL Distributed Electronic Fabrication Application” will be furnished by additional edge devices in the form of NanoFabrica’s 3D-micro-printing systems.

The ultimate goal would be to reach a capability for maintaining an inventory of high-end PCB devices, micro-mechanical parts and Hi-PEDsTM in digital form: “print them as you need them, where you need them, only the quantity you need, in the best quality at competitive prices, as it is done in highest yield and throughput possible for that point in time, specifically in high mix/low volume scenarios.”

Dr. Jon Donner, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of NanoFabrica, who will become General Manager of the NanoFabrica Division of Nano Dimension, commented: “Today is an exciting day for NanoFabrica and for the entire field of precision manufacturing. We have set out on a mission to transform this traditional analog non-environmentally friendly industry, and by joining the segment leader, Nano Dimension, we will be able to fulfill our mission statement much faster and in more elaborate fashion. By combining the advanced capabilities of deep learning together with our manufacturing systems, we hope to improve printing speed by five times and yield by 20 times. Henceforth, by integrating our ultra-precise miniaturization capability with Nano Dimension’s Hi-PEDsTM (High-Performance-Electronic-Devices), we shall become a transformative power in our vertical markets. Nano Dimension-NanoFabrica’s combined offering will greatly increase the number of applications that can be relevant for mass manufacturing on our planned neural network of digital manufacturing systems.”

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