Wouldn't need to drill at all, if there was an insulating layer that could be printed over the traces. Double-sided boards would probably need some drilling, though. If they can do a PnP head, then a drill should be no problem. Embedded components could be included in multilayer boards created by this thing. A fun device to think about, for sure.
I agree with naperlou. As I was reading this I was hopeing that they were using 3D printing techniques to print our a multi-layer circuit board. But as it turns out this is really no different then photo etching a single sided board. Yes, you can print on other substrates, but who really cares in the big scheme of things. I would guess that the greatest number of boards are still on flat non-flexible FR-4 material. Being able to print out a multi-layer board (including vias) would be worth investing in (or more importantly purchasing) if the price is right. Additionally it is a nice feature to be able to pick-n-place components, but not really needed as there are other machines or people who can accomplish this. Do something that can't be done now and you have an innovative product. For most of us, this is just photo etching and not worth our time and/or money.
Printed circuit board prototyping machines have been around for many years, again only for simple, single layer boards. This machine uses conductive ink and prints directly without the need to mask, expose, etch, mess with chemicals, etc.. Other proto machines use a CNC router to remove unwanted copper rather than chemicals. This has potential and I look forward to seeing one in actual use. Nice Post!
Cabe, this is a great solution for simple boards. The reality is that many boards are multi-layer. This reminds me if breadboarding that was often used in the last century. I would think that there would be a way, having the operator place subsequent layers, to make a multilayer board. Then, the only issue is drilling the vias.
New glass coating, the design of which was inspired by two disparate examples in nature -- a moth’s eye and lotus leaf -- could mean significant improvements for solar panels, lenses, military equipment, windows, and other products in the future, thanks to the Department of Energy.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.