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Could You Use a Desktop PCB Printer?

11/11/2013 06:08 PM EST
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RichQ
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Wait a bit and you may not need their printer
RichQ   11/11/2013 9:07:11 PM
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Researchers at Ga Tech have developed inks that you can put into your conventional inkjet printer and create conductive traces. Your PCB can be made of paper if you like. Here's the link: GA Tech Develops Inkjet-based Circuits

Some folks out of China have done something similar.

This is the first effort at commercializing the technique that I have heard of, though. There may be more coming out at the forthcoming Printed Electronics Conference.

But in answer to your question, yes. I would love one. I hate trying to etch PCB boards at home.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Wait a bit and you may not need their printer
Max The Magnificent   11/12/2013 11:27:01 AM
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@Rich: ...but in answer to your question...

Finally!!! LOL

Max The Magnificent
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I WANT one of these!!!
Max The Magnificent   11/12/2013 11:27:56 AM
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I really really want one of these little beauties...

Sanjib.A
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Re: I WANT one of these!!!
Sanjib.A   11/13/2013 12:26:58 PM
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Hi Max, it is cool thing!! Very innovative thinking...should be very useful while doing small experiments. Instead of getting bored with simulating a circuit, it would be easier to take print of the circuit, buy the components from the local shop and perform the experiment. Cool!! I wonder what software "file" that is input to the printer? Do we have to draw the circuit traces on MS Word or Power Point...I guess that would be a bit tough. Is there a tool for it?

Max The Magnificent
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Re: I WANT one of these!!!
Max The Magnificent   11/14/2013 1:21:54 PM
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@Sanjib.A: I wonder what software "file" that is input to the printer?

I'm not sure --- I'll try to find out when I get a spare minute (ha!)

TonyTib
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PCBs aren't the problem
TonyTib   11/12/2013 12:01:23 PM
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Let's say you're interesting in using the latest components: that means BGAs and other SMT stuff.  There are enough good places that make advancted PCBs protos at reasonable prices.  The problem is getting the stuff mounted (Pick and Place) and soldered (reflow oven).


How does the EX1 handle double sided boards?  (They say they're sure they can do multi-layer PCBs, but didn't give any details).

And, yes, it's  cool to print on all kinds of stuff, but if it's something you need to work reliably you have to consider boring stuff like CTE mismatches.

Caleb Kraft
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Re: PCBs aren't the problem
Caleb Kraft   11/13/2013 11:39:09 AM
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I think that what the excitement here is, is that someone can print a functional prototype (eventually) with a mixture of 3d printing and circuit printing. We still have a long way to go for that to be ideal, but this is a decent sized step for the home manufacturer.

I want one, though I don't really see a solid use for it when there are pcb services that are super cheap and fairly quick. I just want it because it is cool.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: PCBs aren't the problem
Max The Magnificent   11/14/2013 1:20:42 PM
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@caleb: I just want it because it is cool.

It's like we were born twins!!!

Max The Magnificent
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Re: PCBs aren't the problem
Max The Magnificent   11/14/2013 1:19:43 PM
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@TonyTib: ...you have to consider boring stuff like CTE mismatches...

Party Pooper!

MS243
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Printed Electronics
MS243   11/12/2013 1:02:55 PM
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Max -- one of my first Spartan 3 designs was a 30ton printer used to print parts of the pixels on on glass for 6 ft x 5 ft LCD TV's -- Printed electroniics using FPGA's is nothing new -- Molecular Imprints in Austin, TX has been making printer cartidges for HP inkjets via partial printed semiconductor technology for even longer.

Steviec
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Novel, but useful?
Steviec   11/13/2013 7:23:48 PM
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I use inkjet prints onto hi-res film, UV expose, develop & etch at extremely fine pitches, I don't see this competing with what I do with a cheap, easy to do method, using off-the-shelf stuff? Steve

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Novel, but useful?
Max The Magnificent   11/14/2013 1:24:30 PM
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@Steviec: I use inkjet prints onto hi-res film, UV expose, develop & etch...

I understand what you are saying, but some folks just want to print and have done -- this would be great for a lot of the little rinky-dinky projects I have on the go.

David Ashton
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Re: Novel, but useful?
David Ashton   11/14/2013 3:18:09 PM
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I reckon this would save about three-quarters of the time needed for the UV expose and etch method.   If not more.   I'd love one.

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