The efficiency of photo-conductive switches, which continue to be used for the generation and detection of THz waves, has been overlooked for a long time. The so far 'optics-dominated' devices are making their way through to new and emerging fields of research that require ultrafast picosecond voltage pulses, as well as to new applications where power efficiency is of uttermost importance. To address the efficiency problems, in this article we present a novel photo-conductive switch that is based on a 3-dimensional design. In contrast to conventional planar designs, our photo-conductive switch drastically enhances the overall efficiency by maximising the laser absorption within the device, while at the same time optimising the carrier collection efficiency at the electrodes. To maximise the optical absorption we take advantage of photonic and plasmonic modes that are excited in our device due to a periodic array of nanopillars, whereas the collection efficiency is optimised by converting each nanopillar into a single nano-photo-conductive switch. Our numerical calculations show a 50-fold increase in the overall generated current and a 5-fold bandwidth increase compared to traditional interdigitated planar photo-conductive switches. This opens up a wealth of new possibilities in quantum science and technology where efficient low power devices are indispensable.