The system uses inkjet-based additive manufacturing that XJet calls NanoParticle Jetting to solve a crucial problem in the roll out of the 5G network. In comparison to 4G/3G, 5G signals deliver data 10 to 20 times faster. However, they require a vast increase in the number of antennas to overcome sensitivity to objects and interference. Existing antenna technology is too expensive to enable the successful scaling up of infrastructure required by 5G.
According to Mark Mirotznik, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Delaware, the university’s research team has developed software and algorithms to enable the design of small, lightweight, cost-effective 5G antennas. The professor said that inkjet-based additive manufacturing achieved the necessary material characteristics and geometric properties.
Accuracy and Smoothness
“The XJet system is the only process capable of producing the inner walls of each channel with the accuracy and smoothness required to retain wave direction — but in ceramic,” Mirotznik said. “XJet’s ceramic is an isotropic, 100 percent density ceramic with the right dielectric constant, which does not absorb and weaken signal. Quite literally, any tiny variation in tolerance could lead to diversion of the signal to the wrong place, and that couldn’t be afforded.”
5G technology must be extraordinarily reliable, and ceramic 3-D printing with inkjet-based additive manufacturing is poised to deliver the necessary reliability.
5G antennas will need to be produced in the millions to deploy a successful, fully functioning 5G global network — and millions is exactly the kind of productivity this system has been designed for.
Hanan Gothait is XJet’s founder and CEO. Visit www.xjet3d.com.