[EMS Discuss] Inkjet-printed circuits?

Tue Nov 12 12:14:25 PST 2013

On 11/12/2013 9:54 AM, Taper Wickel wrote:
> * 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.
What is the conductive glue you are using? I do like the idea of poking 
components into a conductive channel set into an object. You could 
imagine one of the spools/print heads carrying a conductive stuff and 
making nifty 3d circuits built right into the object.
> * 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.

I'm pretty sure Lamp black pigment is what they use in the commercial 
conductive inks/paints (or at least the ones that are black in color). 
But loading it up enough to have low enough resistance while still being 
malleable might be a problem. When I played with one of these black 
conductive ink I found even with a broad trace resistance climbed into 
the 10K range with traces longer than an inch or 2. However, a solid 3d 
"trace" should in theory get better results.
I'd like to try the same with graphite - they sell it in the hardware 
store as dry lubricant for locks and stuff. I think that might get 
better results.
There's stuff on the web about Carbomorph - a conductive 
3d-printer-friendly polymer. But I dont yet see it for sale anywhere 
(after a cursory search)


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