3D printing awards demonstrate vast possibilities for applications

by Brianna Crandall — April 25, 2016 — Winning entries at an event last week give just a hint of the possibilities of 3D (three-dimensional) printing and related technologies in all types of applications and industries. The Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association (CPEIA) announced the first Innovation and Commercialization Award winners at CPES2016, Canada’s Printable, Flexible and Wearable Electronics Symposium.

CPES2016 in Toronto showcased the convergence of research and development, industry expertise, commercial effort and government activity that gives Canada a tremendous opportunity in the explosive global market for printable, flexible and wearable electronics (PE). This year’s successful Symposium broke new ground to focus on industrial applications in a host of market verticals, including health care, consumer products, intelligent buildings, connected homes, smart packaging, smart auto parts and aerospace.

Peter Kallai, president and CEO of the CPEIA and chair of the CPES Organizing Committee, said:

Our first award winners are representative of over 100 outstanding Canadian organizations that are pioneering great innovations with printable, flexible and wearable electronics. Printable electronics can add smart functions to ordinary objects — these are technologies and applications that will drive the Internet of Things and impact a wide range of end user verticals, including those we explored during CPES. I applaud Myant and Memtronik for their efforts to commercialize new products that will help put Canada on the map in this exciting emerging market.

For the inaugural CPES Innovation and Commercialization Awards, the judging committee awarded two awards, for product innovation and commercialization.

CPES2016 Commercialization Award

The winner for CPES2016 Commercialization Award was Memtronik Innovations, for rapidly responding to a market need for an innovative new solution in the retail industry. In the space of a month, Memtronik implemented a novel concept in capacitive touch and illuminated displays for a top provider to the consumer market for global brand owners and retailers.

Memtronik used its unique expertise with human-machine interfaces, integrated electronics precision 3D printing with DuPont materials, and surface mount assembly capabilities to develop and ship innovative prototypes within days.

These integrated printed circuits combine multiple functions with capacitive sensors, conductive adhesive, and controlled LED lighting, for use in 3D demo displays. Memtronik is expecting, and will be able to fulfill, volume orders quickly and locally, creating an innovative new solution for a multimillion-dollar market.

CPES2016 Product Innovation Award

The winner for the CPES2016 Product Innovation Award was Myant & Co., for its latest breakthrough to integrate technology into textiles. Myant’s Vagalume, released just two weeks earlier, is a collection of stylish athletic apparel that enhances visibility for safety at night, using electroluminescent technology.

Vagalume means “firefly” in Portuguese. Conventional reflective technology relies on an external light source to be visible, but Vagalume emits its own light, which is visible under any conditions and from any angle. The collection is said to be as thin as paper, as flexible as fabric, and machine washable.