As this technology continues to develop, it would be interesting to understand the expected print life of the cartridges for certain types of pastes. From the articles, it seems that the current strategy is to allow quick replacement of the heads (similar to an inkjet printhead cartridge), so I'm assuming that these cartridges are currently planned on being low-cost and disposible. (By the way, the peanut butter prototype was impressive).
William, both capacitive and conductive features can be 3D printed with this technology, mentioned on the company's website. We also give a link in the story for more info on the ink's characteristics. Transistors? Not quite yet.
Printing conductors is a worthwhile thing, but to gain much functionality there need to be other parts as well. Resistors and transistors would allow some functionality, but it seems that they would need to be placed, rather than printed.
Syringe extruders have been used in medical R&D for 3D printing various types of organ-like materials. But this is a new development in industrial uses. The combination of plastics and conductive viscous ink 3D printed in one pass is still in its early stages, but the open source technology means it can be developed faster via crowdsourcing.
BMW has already incorporated more than 10,000 3D-printed parts in the Rolls-Royce Phantom and intends to expand the use of 3D printing in its cars even more in the future. Meanwhile, Daimler has started using additive manufacturing for producing spare parts in Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
SABIC's lightweighting polycarbonate glazing materials have appeared for the first time in a production car: the rear quarter window of Toyota's special edition 86 GRMN sports car, where they're saving 50% of its weight compared to conventional glass.
Design engineers play a big role in selecting both suppliers and materials for their designs. Our most recent Design News Materials Survey says they continue to be highly involved, in some ways even more than the last time we asked to peek inside their cubicles.
Daihatsu is one of the first carmakers to customize car exteriors using 3D printing's mass customization capabilities. Effect Skins -- small exterior bumper and fender panels in different colors and textures -- can be ordered for its Copen convertible.
Several new products in this group of new adhesives, coatings, and sealants are formulated to protect sensitive electronic components, or to seal components of commercial and military aircraft. Others are designed to operate in tough, messy, dirty oil & gas operations, or for rotary applications and motors.
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