Towards a smart user interface
Regardless whether home appliances, automotive parts or vending machines – it will soon be possible to operate the plastic products of the future via their smooth surfaces by means of integrated and multi-functional, interfaces.
New surface technologies will change tomorrow’s products. Imagine, for example, a three-dimensionally molded, interactive device surface, equipped with electronic, optical and touch elements. Simply spoken, the aim of the innovation is to convert simple films without any special function into three-dimensional molded plastic devices (smart plastics) with backlight and touch-sensing buttons.
To date, the integration of all these functionalities in a single 3d molded device with arbitrary shape is by no means state-of-the-art. The project “3D-MEOD” explores new possibilities for both electrical and optical components on foils that are deformable and ductile. They can hence be integrated into three-dimensional injection molded parts.
3D-MEOD investigates the technological foundations by means of a production and simulation platform for the new materials and processes required to produce the “user interface of the future”. The goal of this research is an innovative, seamless and interactive user interface designed without restrictions for a wide variety of applications; with transparent, malleable, functional components for electronics, sensors, and lighting that can also withstand the harsh conditions of the molding process.
Essential: Interdisciplinary Know-How
The complexity of the project goals require the expertise of numerous project partners with complementary skills and profound know how in e.g. simulation and manufacturing methods. The entire value chain is sufficiently covered by a consortium consisting of specialized, high-tech companies and academic partners:
- JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH (Coordinator)
- Johannes Kepler Universität Linz LIOS - Linz Institute for Organic Solar Cells Physical Chemistry
- Montanuniversität Leoben, Lehrstuhl für Kunststoffverarbeitung/Department Kunststofftechnik
- Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH
- HUECK FOLIEN Gesellschaft m.b.H.
- plastic electronic GmbH
- SCIO Holding
- next system Vertriebsges.m.b.H.
- technosert electronic GmbH
- Schöfer GmbH
- Kunststoff-Cluster - Clusterland OÖ GmbH
- Linz Center of Mechatronics GmbH
- Niebling GmbH
- Siemens AG Österreich