Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Hardware Technology

3D Printing of Custom Personal Electronics Arrives 72

Posted by Soulskill
from the print-all-the-things dept.
Zothecula writes "Researchers at the University of Warwick have created a cheap plastic composite that can be used even with low-end 3D printers, to produce custom-made electronic devices. The material, nicknamed 'carbomorph,' is both conductive and piezoresistive, meaning that both electronic tracks and touch-sensitive areas can now be easily embedded in 3D-printed objects without the need for complex procedures or expensive materials."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

3D Printing of Custom Personal Electronics Arrives

Comments Filter:
  • Bye, bye iPhone (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Toe, The (545098) on Friday November 30, 2012 @04:34PM (#42147815)

    I just printed out a better phone.

    (Or is that still a ways off? Ahem.)

  • by etash (1907284)
    can't wait to print my intel core 6 core 980X !!!
  • I'm perplexed how much a laser engraver costs, but want to do some custom mold engraving on the cheep (as in bird seed) looks like I need to get cracking on building a 3D printer and skip the costly laser engraver (plus Mach3 software to direct it.

    • by wierd_w (1375923)

      Hmm...

      How about just an inkjet printer? Tri color cart, with the reservoir washed out. Fill one tank with silver nitrate, another with dextrose solution, and the third with a nonpolar resist solution. Fill the black cart with a clear varnish.

      Print the resist layer, back out the sheet until it is dry, feed it back in, and then print the silver and dextrose layers. Back out again, allow to cure. Rinse sheet, reload it, print the varnish.

      Done.

      It would be like silvering a mirror, only more selective.

      • by emarkp (67813)

        You missed the alignment step.

        Seriously, that would be awesome, and if someone can work out the alignment (maybe with a cheap web cam?) something like that may be feasible.

        • my printer (lexmark) is capable of (partly) pushing out a page to wait for drying, and then pulling it back in again to continue printing. I've seen it do this for doing double-sided printing, but it seems likely that it would be able to do multiple passes on the same sheet without any external alignment measures.
          • My condolences on your choice of (DRM'ed) printers. But duplex printers (and scanners) frequently spit the paper almost completely out and suck it back in again, even when they're laser printers and hence have no wet ink to dry.

        • by wierd_w (1375923)

          Get one of those fancy 5 color jobs then. Fill the remaining tanks with pigments, and use the optical head calibration sensor in most modern inkjets to read the alignment pattern.

          Then the process would be:

          Print alignment matrix at the bottom of the sheet using tanks 4 and 5. Kick the sheet most of the way out, and wait 240 seconds for the pattern to dry real good. Pull the sheet back in, and look for the alignment pattern with the sensors. Slowly feed the sheet to the start position. Print the resist laye

  • And just yesterday (and I mean yesterday), a self-proclaimed smart person was telling me that 3D printers would never be able to make anything useful.

    • by wierd_w (1375923)

      If the goal is "direct to market", then you are using 3d printing wrong.

      3d printing is really to help you in an intermediate process. Like building a mold, or a die, or testing a layout without wasting a lot of prep time.

      • by peragrin (659227)

        For today at least.

        I expect in 10-15 years simple electronics like calculators watches will be able to be printed.

        There is a lot of material science to do to make such a thing work. so it might take longer.

    • by wiedzmin (1269816)

      I'm pretty sure I saw a 3D printed rifle already. With that you can get anything else useful that you want. 'Nuff said.

    • by Smallpond (221300)

      And just yesterday (and I mean yesterday), a self-proclaimed smart person was telling me that 3D printers would never be able to make anything useful.

      How about a bikini [shapeways.com]

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Well, FPGAs can do this better already.

  • For this stuff to practical on a small ( consumer ) scale. Lets hope we get there before the law gets in the way and derails it all.

  • Just wait until the MegaCorps© figure out that being able to 3D print our own electronics means we don't need them anymore.
    • by Synerg1y (2169962)
      Patents, obscure designs, hardware DRM, I'm sure they'll figure something out.
      • Probably easier for them to just have it lumped together as 'thoughtcrime' and prosecuted as such.

        doubleplus ungood.
        • by Synerg1y (2169962)
          Still, I wouldn't mind living in an age where you can "pirate" a 60" sony bravia tv and keep it secret by not connecting it to the internet (like some hacks for game consoles nowadays).
          • Still, I wouldn't mind living in an age where you can "pirate" a 60" sony bravia tv and keep it secret by not connecting it to the internet (like some hacks for game consoles nowadays).

            Wouldn't it make more sense to just not print the part that phones home?

            • by Synerg1y (2169962)
              Not any more than it would be feasible to remove the DRM hardware portion of an xbox360. You can, but then it would instantly stop working, since you're removing mission critical transistors that double as DRM.
              • Assuming one can 3D print an entire television, it's not a stretch of the imagination to think that they could, in process, redesign said mission critical transistors to function without the DRM component.
          • Also - I have a Bravia. Good hardware, but the software for it is pure shite.

            Save the headaches and print yourself a Samsung.
  • A 3d printer to make my dinner, then years from now I can be one of those old guys yelling at kids about a time when you had to prep and cook your food and fortunate they should feel.
    • by loufoque (1400831)

      Most people enjoy cooking.

      • by narcc (412956)

        Most?

        +5 Funny!

      • by Synerg1y (2169962)
        Funny, most people as individuals don't have time to cook, just look at fast food's annual revenue as proof of this concept. It's not even cost effective for an individual to do so. In a family environment this changes, but then again look at the divorce rate here in the states...
        • by loufoque (1400831)

          They have the time to watch stupid shows on TV. They very well have the time to cook.
          It's that usians are lazy and cannot enjoy simple pleasures in life.

          • by Synerg1y (2169962)
            Can't argue with you on the laziness part... it can get a bit rough working and managing the household if you live by yourself though. There's some significant health benefits to fresh cooked food too. We're talking out of different blocks of life I think :)
  • The article seems to be more about embedding electronic sensors in flexible rubber-like plastic. The examples even show them printing out a modern version of the Nintendo PowerGlove(tm). I could see these being used to print out custom-fit full body suits serving the same basic functions.
  • Wires and switches still only qualify as "electric" but not electronics. There is not much they can be used for by themselves.

    • by Tapewolf (1639955)

      Wires and switches still only qualify as "electric" but not electronics. There is not much they can be used for by themselves.

      Could you print the core of an ECC83 or something?

      • by gweihir (88907)

        No. That requires pretty special steel, glimmer, chemical treatments, welding and that is not even taking the heater into account that turns a valve into an electronics device. Without the heater being turned on a valve is not an electronic component.

        • by Tapewolf (1639955)

          No. That requires pretty special steel, glimmer, chemical treatments, welding and that is not even taking the heater into account that turns a valve into an electronics device. Without the heater being turned on a valve is not an electronic component.

          Well, I figured that you might be able to print the heater too, but yeah, I was afraid there was more to the guts of it than a simple metal structure.

  • Printing of a conductive material into various shapes is so much different than printing of actual embedded electronics that we consider to be electronics--which requires complex silicon-based structures--something that is not something you just print.

    Basically this technique is nice, but is not that much different than taking carbon black or some conductive particles, putting into a syringe of silicone rubber and squirting it out into various shapes. Combining with a multiple output 3D printer, you can emb

  • When is my local Kinko's or Staples going to have a 3D printer where I can take my USB stick with an Autocad file?

  • by next_ghost (1868792) on Friday November 30, 2012 @07:16PM (#42150189)

    Insulators/structural support - check
    Conductors - check
    Inductors - check
    Resistors - check
    Capacitors - check

    Now all we need are two 3D-printable materials that can form a semiconductor and an extruder design that can automatically switch between all of those materials and the 3D printing bonanza will begin.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

Working...