Showcase AM Expo 2019

Thin-walled cover for microforce sensor for nano-newtons

The component combines the strengths of additive manufacturing with the traditional post processing. Thin wall thickness, freedom of design, precise guides, highest surface quality and a marketable price in quantities of 500-1000 pcs/year.


The company FemtoTools AG, headquartered in Buchs ZH, provides high-precision instruments for the measurement and handling of mirco- and nanostructures. The heart of these devices are microforce sensors and grippers, which can measure incredible accurate from 0.2 newton up to 0.5 nanonewton.

The cover for the electronics of the force sensors and grippers is produced in series by additive manufacturing at BSF Bünter AG. The requirements for the solution are limited available space, lowest possible weight, easy assembly, electrical conductivity, appealing design and as usually for the lowest possible price. This resulted in a construction that is having very thin walls at still sufficient stability and consists of a single aluminium component. Getting all these features under one roof works very well with additive manufacturing.

Printing a thin-walled and stable component, if the design comes from the customer, is no problem for most 3D-printing provider. What makes the application really interesting and complex, is the high quantity and the post processing to a marketable price. By use of the know-how of BSF Bünter AG and the close cooperation with FemtoTools, a component is created whose design fulfills all the functions. In addition, the part was optimized on printing as much parts as possible at once and as well on comprehensive post processing of the visible surfaces, guides, slots and threads.

A perfect proof that additive manufacturing can only achieve their full potential through know-how and the combination with traditional manufacturing!