[EMS Discuss] Inkjet-printed circuits?

Sam Foster EMAIL HIDDEN
Tue Nov 12 09:27:31 PST 2013


First, I love seeing published research published freely and openly like 
this. I've been kind of watching this space for the last couple of 
years. Its great to see a paper that connects up the dots and proposes a 
practical and relatively affordable way of making home-printed circuits. 
The silver ink is expensive however. For simple circuits you can use 
copper tape (see specialists suppliers like 3M, or just go to the garden 
center and pick up slug and snail tape - same stuff). This technique is 
used for some great demos by  Jie Qi 
http://www.youtube.com/user/qijies/videos

For the ink, this guy has been doing some great work on how to produce 
the kind of nanoparticles and conductivity you need using what he calls 
"jam jar chemistry" - kitchen/hardware-store chemicals and equipment. 
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4AkVj-qnJxNtKuz3rkq16A
He also has set up an online store with some of his graphite and 
graphene products: https://sites.google.com/site/rmsgraphite/
This video has details on making the kind of copper nano-particles you'd 
need for a conductive ink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVN9DV1LmSU - 
but there are others in his collection also. Even if you have no 
intention of making the stuff, I recommend his videos for rediscovering 
the simple joy of chemistry in a really accessible way.

..you can of course just buy the stuff - auto stores sell a pen for 
repairing the heating elements on rear car windows. Electronics supply 
stores have something similar - that works great. You just draw your 
traces and with care you can solder to it.

I did a quick experiment hooking a button cell battery up to light up a 
couple of LEDs, where I used copper tape for the traces and sticky tape 
to handle and secure SMD LEDs to the traces that was delightfully easy 
and effective. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_IxxMbfQQY

I'm currently working on using the same idea for a simple AA powered 
light, where the circuit, battery holder and structure are all built on 
a sheet of plastic that can be coiled up and shoved into the top of a 
bottle.

/Sam


On 11/11/2013 1:17 PM, Dan Robinson wrote:
> Has anyone here read about this? I think this, combined with 3D 
> printing, is going to mean innovative electronics will soon make a 
> quantum jump, for better and worse. At least when we can 3D print with 
> several materials in one step, as with 2D color.
>
> http://www.kurzweilai.net/how-to-inkjet-print-circuits-at-fraction-of-time-and-cost?utm_source=KurzweilAI+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=66ba2bb6f8-UA-946742-1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6de721fb33-66ba2bb6f8-281953809 
>
>
> Dan



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