Nikon Corporation has invested in its first AM application developer, Optisys, Inc. The Utah-based company is a major player in the design and manufacture of metal-printed antennas for commercial and government applications where high performance, size, and weight are critical.
The Optisys IP portfolio includes many proprietary antenna designs as well as RF solution design improvements that support mass customisation capabilities.
Nikon has recently invested over $700m in the metal 3d printing industry in the last couple of years, to enable large-scale manufacture of products, including Optisys’ next-generation ground, air and space antennas.
The demand for communications and radar antenna systems produced using metal additive manufacturing continues to grow as users recognise the benefits in size, weight, and power reduction (SWaP). Designing for metal 3D printing creates highly specialised components that provide enhanced performance. It also enables rapid modifications and simplifies the integration of new features, while providing a net reduction in total parts by enabling multiple antenna components to be designed into a single piece. Optisys utilises integrated design, manufacturing, and test processes to deliver cost-effective, tailored solutions in a shorter development time, while ensuring critical product performance for the aerospace industry.
This investment will enable Nikon and Optisys to boost the utilisation of metal additive manufacturing for applications including high-performance antennas and other RF products.
Yuichi Shibazaki, Nikon Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Next Generation Project Division said: “This investment in Optisys is another central element of our Next Generation Project programme to propel the industrialisation of digital manufacturing. Optisys’ industry leadership and precision design and manufacturing capabilities are well-aligned with Nikon core technologies and our vision for the future. We look forward to partnering with their team to expand the additive manufacturing horizon.”
Janos Opra, Chief Executive Officer of Optisys, added: “Nikon’s investment and expertise in additive manufacturing and advanced manufacturing techniques gives Optisys access to an ecosystem where we will be able to produce high-performance printed antennas in commercial volumes. This will enable Optisys to bring additive manufactured antennas into the mainstream for the most demanding market segments in both commercial and government applications.”