If you’re an electrical engineer, 3D printing has long been a valuable tool for carrying out tasks like printing prototype housings or cases for your projects.
But the 3D printing of electronic components themselves is also a growing field.
This is something researchers from the U.K.’s University of Nottingham are helping with — courtesy of a newly invented “breakthrough” approach to printing fully functional electronic circuits that could help transform the way we create components.
“Here at the Center for Additive Manufacturing, we’re exploring ways of developing additive manufacturing beyond single material deposition to the ability to manufacture a working system straight out of the machine,” Professor Chris Tuck, professor of materials engineering and lead investigator of the study, told Digital Trends.
The researchers’ new approach involves printing circuits made of electrically conductive metallic inks and insulating polymeric inks.
These can be produced in a single inkjet printing process, using an ultraviolet light to solidify the inks.