3D-printed consumer electronics just became a reality!


Legend Never Ends
Source 3D-printed consumer electronics just became a reality | ExtremeTech

Embedding sensors and electronics
inside of 3D objects in a single build
process has been a long sought after
goal in 3D printing (3DP). A group led
by Simon Leigh, at the University of
Warwick in England, has now done just that. Leigh’s group developed a
low-cost material they call
carbomorph – a carbon black filler in a
matrix of a biodegradable polyester. In addition to being conductive,
carbomorph is piezoresistive. This
means which that when it is bent or
stressed, its resistance changes.
Typically the resistance increases as
the object is bent because the conductive grains are spread further
apart. Piezoresistive strips of carbon
nanotubes have been created
previously by other groups and used
in the measurement of movement, but
printing them is something new. The goal of Leigh’s group was to
completely print a motion sensing
glove in a single unbroken run. This
required a machine with multiple
heads, and their Bits from Bytes BFB3000 fit the bill. In one head they used used polylactic acid (PLA) to print
the main body of the glove. The other
head contained the carbomorph for
the embedded sensing strips in each
finger. The cross section of embedded
strip was only .25 square microns yet proved sufficient for getting a robust
piezoelectric signal to compute the
bend angle.
Full article at link above.


yeah, 3d printing has made leaps and bounds in recent years

a decent fully made rap-rap costs around 40k. you can make one for as low as 12-15k (main costs are the extruder heads, arduino boards and some other essential parts) with most of the cost going to special, imported parts, which cant be made/bought here.

also, you can make very basic/crude rep-rap for bootstrapping (building a rep-rap that makes ANOTHER rep-rap) for less than 1/2 the above ^ price, out of locally available materials.

after that, the only cost associated is of the base material used.

infact, the main goal of the rep-rap project is to make self replicating machines, fully integrated into one package.


Right off the assembly line
Yes It is now a very popular technology trend. 3D-printed consumer electronic devices and objects are infrequently as durable as their traditionally manufactured counterparts. Embed sensors and electronics inside of 3D objects in a single build process has been a long sought after its lunched. Instead of selling physical products that go through a physical distribution chain, someone could directly beam the design to the consumer and let the 3D printer actually do the replication
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