[EMS Discuss] Inkjet-printed circuits?

Tue Nov 12 09:54:20 PST 2013

I've been playing with this myself, on the conductive-ink/paint/glue
end; with some mixed results.

*  I've lit LEDs with conductive ink on paper, which is kinda fun. A
thing to note is that the graphite/graphene based inks are resistive;
depending on the length/thickness of the trace, you might not need an
extra resistor for the LED! Also, you can draw potentiometers!

* I've tried 3-d printing a circuit board for use with the conductive
glue. The idea I had was essentially a block with little troughs for
the glue to stay in; push the glue in there, push down the components,
and voilà. Except it didn't work.  I blame the roughness of the thing;
next try will have deeper (and a little wider) troughs, and I may use
a syringe to apply the glue instead of the eyedropper-type applicator.

* I also want to see if you can incorporate enough graphite/graphene
into polymorph/shapelock plastic to make it conductive/resistive.
I've got a big thing of lamp black I picked up at an art store that
would at least make the plastic black, but I don't know if its
graphite is in the right form to do conductive.  Thanks for the links
to RMS Graphite, Sam; that should point me in the right general
directions.  I figure if this is doable at all, I could make 3d
circuit structures, and then cover them in normal, insulative plastic,
and end up with blinky-light plastic objects. Or something.


On Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 9:27 AM, Sam Foster <EMAIL HIDDEN> wrote:
> 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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