From 3D to 3D: Rocket to the Nanosphere!

Check out the 3d Printing process to create an Electrically Small Antenna

for cell phones and mobile devices . . . so we can watch Mobile DTV!

It is the the first demonstration of 3D printed antennas on curvilinear surfaces, invented by:

  • Jennifer T. Bernhard, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois &
  • Jennifer A. Lewis, Hans Thurnauer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at University of Illinois

Their method is published on the cover article in the March 18th, 2011 issue of Advanced Materials, and carried by many technical news publications, including Engaget. It solves this hurdle voiced in an aricle in TVTechnology:

“Small electronic devices (cell phones, mobile DTV receivers, etc.) demand small antennas, but it has been difficult to create electrically small antennas (lengths of around a tenth wavelength or less) without a huge loss in efficiency and bandwidth.”

Ref: 3D printing method advances electrically small antenna design

Conformal printing invented by these two Professors will enable integration of high quality antennas on “the inside of a cell phone case or the wing of an unmanned aerial vehicle.” Specification are adaptable to the other operating frequencies, device sizes, or encapsulated designs, by varying the spacing between meander lines on each arm and printing on different surfaces.

From an interview in Broadcast Engineering:

MTVU: So far, we’re seeing mobile DTV implemented as accessories. Will it evolve beyond that?

Alon Ironi: The first wave of products will be accessories for PCs, tablets and smart phones; this is very typical in industries like this. The first wave is exhibited via accessories because the risk by the device makers is smaller. We saw similar things years ago with WiFi providers, when the first implementation of WiFi for PCs was minicards and dongles. Then the technology became embedded. We think we’re going to go through a similar process with mobile TV. By Christmas this year, we’ll see a lot of accessories. It’ll probably be one of the hottest products in the Christmas season sales. But, we already have a lot of customers that are building embedded devices. In spring or early summer of 2012, we’ll see embedded products and then regular-feature phones with embedded solutions by the end of 2012.
- Mobile TV: A path to the future

so that we can watch live streaming DTV on our mobile devices, including 3D! :)