Wow, what will be available for 3D printing next--a human being?? :) I'm just kidding, of course, but this story is impressive! Printing sure has come a long way from dot-matrix, hasn't it? Look forward to more developments in this area and the potential for doing this commercially someday. If it progresses I forsee a whole new era of at-home inventions and armchair mad professors being inspired!
Thanks, everyone--isn't this fun? I think it was only a matter of time once the industry achieved the ability to "print" flexible electronics via lithography, as DN has covered in the past: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=249722
When they say they are trying to make the wires and cables, are they inferring the use of a combination of plastics and sintering printing? That would be incredible to mix the two technologies, then you could truly create some awsome things.
I suppose one could build everything by the molecule. There have been several developments in the past few years that may lead to such a process.
However, I think at home printing of enclosures is a possibility. However, even the best 3D printing I have felt is not the same as molded plastics. In many cases the molded is far nicer in about every single way.
Like most people, who has the time/energy to print a game controller and assemble it. When one can be bought for cheaper than it costs to print one.
I recall reading about conductive plastics many years ago, but it never occurred to me that they could be used in 3D printing applications. Ann, any idea if this could be used in high-production-volume applications?
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An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
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