Fractal Antenna Systems stays ahead with 3D design and printing –

Nathan Cohen and David Moschella of Fractal Antenna Systems

A fractal element antenna is fashioned using what is called fractal geometry, or an intricate “self-similar” pattern constructed from the repetition of a simple shape.

It is the qualities of fractals that allow Fractal Antenna Systems to produce high performance antennas which they claim are typically 50-75% smaller than a traditional antenna.

These FAS antennas offer increased bandwidth, multiband and gain, and the conductor geometry is what gives them less complexity and fewer potential points of failure.

Now FAS has unveiled what they call “the next step in wireless antennas” with their DAS Works Antenna Custom shop. The store features an entire team dedicated to designing – and rapidly manufacturing – custom antennas for DAS, public safety and WiFi applications.

“We realize that finding a specialized antenna can become a designer’s nightmare and cause an overall delay in the schedule for a DAS installation,” said Nathan Cohen, Founder of FAS. “FRACTAL can not only solve custom SAR, public safety and WiFi problems, but we can also deliver the antenna in a timely manner.”

Picture 20Cohen says a “synergistic fusion of key technologies” is what makes FAS work. Their fractal antennas and bent antennas, along with five years of 3D printing experience and proprietary patent-pending 3D printing technology, mean the company can manufacture antenna components in quantities of 5 to 500. According to Cohen, 3D printing offers speed, cost efficiency and design flexibility.

Every DAS project design and installation includes a site visit to determine which parts of a job are special and unique.

Small, unobtrusive form factor antennas are preferred by designers and installers.

Fractal Antenna Systems provides products for wireless and electromagnetic applications, and their products are the result of approximately three dozen US and international patents. The company says it also has dozens of patents pending and has accumulated extensive research and field experience over its 20 years in business.

The private company is headquartered in Bedford, MA, and also manufactures related devices such as filters, metamaterials, caps, diffusers and absorbers. The company was founded in 1995 by Cohen, a physicist and radio astronomer, and he says that experience led him to create a new perspective for designing and using fractals in products.clearantennas_2011-11

Cohen says his company started out doing military work, but has now branched out into commercial work building metamaterial devices, arrays and MIMO antennas. He recently gave a talk at the Radio Club of America titled “3D Printing in Antennas and Electronics”.

He says the company has succeeded because customers demand more than standard catalog offerings, and his team’s use of rapid 3D prototyping and 3D printing allows them to go into production in days or weeks. rather than the months the process used to take.

What do you think of these 3D printed fractal antenna systems? Can you see an app for them? Let us know in the Fractal Antenna Systems 3D Design and Printing forum thread on

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