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Printed Circuits as Part of a 3-D Printed Object (Video)

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the next-thing-you-know-we'll-be-printing-electronic-ray-guns dept.

42

Affordable 3-D printing is still young; just a few years ago, it would have been nearly impossible to have an arbitrary three-dimensional piece of plastic (or resin, or sometimes metal) created from a software description in a box that fits on your desk. But in the several years the printing of *things* has moved fromquaint, quixotic, futzing-about hobby into something that works (fairly) reliably in ever more garages, schools, and hackerspaces, it's gotten good enough that you can now download and print quite a few objects that are available for download, or scan small items to replicate, or scan your friends to print out as statuettes. However, for the most part, these printed pieces are static, and finished. With care, you can print things like a chain, or even a ball joint, but you're still limited mostly to one basic material at a time. (Printing with multiple colors is getting easier, though.) If you want to print a flashlight or a robot, you'll need to add wires and other circuitry as a separate step. That's what the folks at Rabbit Proto (get it?) are trying to change. With the system they're working on, a filament printer is used to fabricate the object itself, but at the same time, both capacitive and conductive features can be baked -- or rather printed -- right in, with a separate print head. We talked with Alexandre Jais and Manal Dia of Rabbit Proto about how the system works, and why you might want to use it. (Alternate video link.)

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Come again? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#47102769)

Affordable 3-D printing is still young; just a few years ago, it would have been nearly impossible to have an arbitrary three-dimensional piece of plastic (or resin, or sometimes metal).

Oh yeah, desktop CNC mills didn't exist just a few years ago. That's why Roland wasn't able to sell the MDX-40, MDX-20, MDX-15 or even the old MDX-3 decades ago.

Re:Come again? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 5 months ago | (#47102863)

table sized powdered metal and extrusion machines existed in the early 90s too....you could put them on a big desk, maybe not your chipboard walmart special desk.

Re:Come again? (3, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about 5 months ago | (#47102949)

Stereolithography machines existed, but they were like the Mitsubishi's Avance-25 (both a sinterer, and a CNC mill), well out of the reach of the average person, so the ideas really didn't come around until more people had experience with this technology.

One of the more notable advances I'm seeing is using 3D printing with dissolvable filament in the same way that lost wax castings are done. Make a figure with sprues, embed it in a mold, use a solvent to get the filament out, pour in silver/bronze/metal of choice, let cool, crack the mold off and grind off the sprues, done. This won't make extremely detailed pieces or pieces with a heavy temper (i.e. no 1911 gun parts), but it would make some usable items in metal.

Re:Come again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47103681)

My God, what a future! You mean if I wanted a poorly made pot-metal toy, instead of walking to the Dollar Store, I can embark on an expensive, slow and long journey ... to make my own at home!?

GLORIOUS!!! Who do I give my money to??

Re:Come again? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 5 months ago | (#47104369)

Please don't use the "w" word at /., children look at this site. I don't know if the 20-somethings can actually read yet, but rumor has it that they do look at it.

Re:Come again? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 5 months ago | (#47104383)

but where else would I get a desk that warps under half the rated weight or buckles in humidity?

Re:Come again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47104807)

You can 3D print one?

Re:Come again? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 5 months ago | (#47119193)

nah, desks made that way don't do the swelling in humidity thing. but we can be hopeful, maybe they degrade in direct sunlight

Re:Come again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102909)

It's Action Force against Cobra, the enemy, fighting to save the day! They will never give up, they're always there, fighting for freedom over land and air!
Action Force!
International heroes, Action Force are there! Action Force will dare! Action Force!

FULL FORCE!

Re:Come again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47103013)

Why is there a large, empty, grey box beneath the summary? Is that part of this horrible Slashdot Beta I have been hearing about?

Re:Come again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47103639)

Excuse me, if you're not ready, willing and able to suck every 3D printed dick that comes along , then you better find another website, Luddite.

We're busy building the post-industrial post-scarcity singularity future in space here, chum.

Sure, all we're doing is an expensive hobby, but you're just a Luddite!

Re:Come again? (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 5 months ago | (#47103709)

... an arbitrary three-dimensional piece of ...

Oh yeah, desktop CNC mills didn't exist just a few years ago.

CNC mills are far more limited in the arbitrariness of the shape that can be formed. They cannot form internal corners, complex cavities, overhangs, etc. They are also much more expensive and require far more skill and experience to use. On the other hand, even a home user can make aluminum or stainless steel parts with a desktop mill such as a Sherline [sherline.com] . Mills and 3D printers are really complimentary rather than competitors. I will sometimes do a plastic rapid prototype on a 3D printer, and after checking the fit and function, mill it in aluminum for a stronger part with a better finish. Plus it looks shiny.

Re:Come again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47104153)

So a CNC mill is limited, except when you buy one from Sherline?

You've posted monumentally stupid shit before, but I think you're just posted a monstrous coiler just there!

Re:Come again? (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 5 months ago | (#47104613)

So a CNC mill is limited, except when you buy one from Sherline?

No. This is what I was trying to say: A mill is more limited in the shapes it can form, but it is less limited in the materials it can use. A home user can use a mill to make parts out of aluminum, brass, or stainless steel. A home user cannot do that with a 3D printer (yet). I only mentioned the Sherline because it is one of the smallest and most affordable mills, while still being a very capable machine.

Re:Come again? (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about 5 months ago | (#47106967)

You forgot to insert ``3-axis'' before CNC mills at the beginning of your comment.

A 5-axis machine can make pretty much anything which the tooling is appropriate for, and they're getting much more affordable: http://www.pocketnc.com/produc... [pocketnc.com]

Re:Come again? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#47109827)

That Pocket NC P5... holy cow.

I found toad in your hat (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 5 months ago | (#47102781)

Your comment is invalidated by the toad in your hat, looser. My shoelaceds are lose, on the houset? You butt vibration obset.

Re:I found toad in your hat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102819)

Bath salts are a hell of a drug. Please don't eat anyone's face off, bro.

Conductive Ink. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102871)

Monkey piss.
Can anyone imagine uses for this conductive ink besides toy circuits and membrane switches?

Re:Conductive Ink. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47104213)

Well, instead of buying a mass-manufactured membrane keyboard that works for 5$, you can spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars and many weeks of futzing around to end up with a thoroughly inferior product.

But hey, at least you're not a Luddite!

Spaces - learn how to use them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102873)

What an idiot.
"asoftwaredescription"
"fromquaint"
"inever"
"forthemost"

American? How did I know?

Re:Spaces - learn how to use them... (1)

unrtst (777550) | about 5 months ago | (#47102965)

The submitter may have an excuse or two. Editors, on the othe hand, have no good excuses.
A space bar is the easiest button to find.

Re:Spaces - learn how to use them... (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 5 months ago | (#47103179)

The submitter may have an excuse or two. Editors, on the othe hand, have no good excuses.
A space bar is the easiest button to find.

What's an Editor? I haven't seen any around here.

Re:Spaces - learn how to use them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47103257)

Except that it's the only one with no label on it...

Flash in 2014? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47102903)

Printed Circuits as Part of a 3-D Printed Object (Video)
You need to have the Adobe Flash Player to view this content.
Please click here to continue.

There's three major infection vectors for the Web: Adobe Reader, Java and Flash. I'm not installing any of those just to view a stupid video. Flash was meant for vector animations anyway, why the fuck does it play video?

We're in 2014, H.264-encoded video can be played directly by any decent browser without using any plug-ins.

Duplicate (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 5 months ago | (#47102931)

The printed circuits have already been discussed [slashdot.org]

Makers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47103009)

That word "makers" needs to die now and hard. What about all the countless people who made things with their own hands with more effort than it took to download a CAD file and click print? Bloody poseurs and dilettantes, the lot of them.

Re:Makers? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#47103071)

I think the word "maker" is appropriate, as they're just "making" things, usually with computer-assisted devices (3D printers, CNC mills, laser cutters).

People with skills, doing things by hands, are called crafters.

Re:Makers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47103103)

If being apposite was the goal what was wrong with "printers"? For heaven's sake, using a CNC mill takes more thought an ingenuity than a 3D printer. I've no issue about 3D printing in of itself (apart from the way its abilities are vastly overhyped in the media), it just boils my blood to see the smug look on some people's faces when they've done nothing creative whatsoever.

Re:Makers? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#47103511)

The term "makers" applies to all kinds of fields, not just 3D printer users. Go check out Adafruit or Sparkfun for examples.

Re:Makers? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 5 months ago | (#47103907)

oh come on, the future of makers looks bright. in fact, it looks like piles of brightly colored yoda heads laying all about the place

Electrets? (1)

jasno (124830) | about 5 months ago | (#47103107)

Anyone familiar with the physics of electrets? I was thinking a while back that you could freeze a charge in cooling PLA or other plastic being used for printing. I looked around and some guys talked about it briefly a few years ago but never really explored it.

It seems like it might come in handy to bake electrets into your design. If nothing else, you could make half of a position sensor without having to glue on a magnet or something. I seem to remember hearing that the electret effect is influenced by mechanical strain, but it might make the charge bleed off and ruin the electret.

I doubt you could put enough charge in to allow you to make a motor or speaker, but who knows....

No user serviceable parts at all (2)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 5 months ago | (#47103155)

Can't be repaired, and when the DRM is literally printed right in to the device, will 'owning' your purchased product really mean anything in the future?

On the one hand, proprietary product designers will have their customers locked in like never before, and on the other, it seems like you'll have the option to create your own product to order exactly how you like it, especially if you can leverage an open design.

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47103201)

> That's what the folks at Rabbit Proto (get it?)

Nope. Care to explain, if you please?

Re:No. (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 5 months ago | (#47103253)

I wouldn't bother. If a pun needs to be explained it probably wasn't funny enough to make it worth the effort anyway.

Re:No. (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 5 months ago | (#47103415)

So you don't get it either?

Re:No. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 5 months ago | (#47103911)

what comes out of a rabbit and a 3D printer? hint, small and brightly colored

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47104263)

Tiny clown hats?

A few is two. (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 5 months ago | (#47103293)

just a few years ago, it would have been nearly impossible to have an arbitrary three-dimensional piece of plastic (or resin, or sometimes metal) created from a software description in a box that fits on your desk.

err, Makerbot is over 4 years old now
Ponoko were selling RepRap parts 6 years ago

Re:A few is two. (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 5 months ago | (#47103505)

Ever date a woman with a "few" extra pounds? You'll find the definition of a few is far more ... generous than you think!

Instructables (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47104901)

I saw a similar idea on instructables a few weeks ago
http://www.instructables.com/id/3D-Printing-3D-Print-A-Solderless-Circuit-Board/
  - Create a circuit board design
  - turn this into a 3d model with a channel instead of tracks
  - print out on a 3d printer
  - attach components
  - fill the channels with conductive paint

Meh (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 5 months ago | (#47106427)

A multicolor 3d-Printer where one of the colors is conductive?

Revolutionary. (yawn)

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