Glad you enjoyed the story, William. I think this combo could be really big, and that 3D circuits are also really big on their own--they're already being made, you know, although not yet common. The implications of them alone even without being combined in 3D printing could be huge--thanks for your creative suggestions. I'm really interested to see what other people dream up.
Thanks for an interesting and infrmative article, Ann. I can also see an interesting future in the printing of 3D printed circuits. Consider the implications of being able to print cross-overs, rather than needing vias and their related limitations. And different traces could have different thicknesses, which could result in saving a lot of materials. The ability to print shielding would be a real benefit. I can see a large realm of possibilities.
Thanks, Elizabeth. Actually, it's not 3D printing of electronics, but printing of 3D electronics; the 3D printing applies to the wing they're printed on. Optomec's process parallels any other printed electronics, except that it's done in 3D instead of 2D. As we describe in the article, the printing technique is also called conformal printing, meaning it conforms to the surface it's printed on. When the Optomec print engine gets integrated into a 3D printer, then perhaps you could say the circuits are 3D printed.
This would be a real breakthroug and it's pretty incredible how close widespread use of this type of production just might be. Thanks for staying on top of it, Ann. It seems amazing that this could be possible, and I do wonder, however, how 3D printing all components of electrocnics might affect the quality of those products.
Thanks, Rob. Much of what I write about in 3D printing and robotics, although it may seem like the future, is actually only around the corner. I don't know about you, but my definition of "future" is getting more immediate and less distant.
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Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
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