This Kickstarter project uses an innovative approach to produce 3D printed circuit boards on a wide range of different substrate materials.
It won’t meet everyone’s needs, and the long term reliability of the circuits it produces is still to be established, but if you do a lot of circuit board prototyping or want to explore more exotic applications like wearable electronics, this project might be just the ticket.
No etching, no harsh chemicals, and almost zero lead-time. Just print out your circuit board design using the two-pass system and you’re ready to install the components and test.
Limor Schweitzer, the founder of Robosavvy - one of the most popular online sources of information, know-how, and humanoid robot parts/kits, was just featured on Bloomberg Televisions where he introduced “Fonzie” the dancing robot. Limor also explained how Robosavvy uses "Fonzie" and their other humanoids to develop research platforms for human-robot interaction.
A few days ago I posted about the Sugru exhibit at World Maker Faire and mentioned how handy it is for quick, or permanent, repairs.
Here's another example that Mac and iPad/iPod users will be able to instantly identify with. Using Sugru to provide protection and strain relief on an Apple power cable.
Sugru, as it comes out of the package is very malleable and is easy to form into the shape you want with your fingers. Then, over time, it air cures and becomes just as durable as more traditional rubber products.
Tools for every purpose…
It’s always fun to start a new project. Sometimes they are very practical and solve a problem, sometimes they are educational and help us to learn something new, and more often than not they’re a great excuse to buy new tools.
Events like this are great because they expose you to new tool suppliers. And, you get to meet the experts – people that are really skilled at using the tools. They are extremely approachable, and always willing to answer your questions or give you advice on your projects. Doesn’t matter whether you’re working in electronics, 3-D printing, robotic’s, woodworking, or even sewing and crafting.
Wood working tools
Inkjet Printed Flexible Circuits
Would be great for prototyping and for hacking if you could just print out your electronic circuits with your inkjet printer at home? That’s not possible yet, but Microsoft Research Labs is already doing it and they expect the technology to be commonly available in the not-too-distant future.
At World Maker Faire in New York City last month, they were showing off they have already been able to accomplish, and some of the applications that they feel it will be suited for. Put very simply, what they’re doing is using an inkjet head very similar to the one in your printer at home to print conductive ink on flexible substrates.
Flexible inkjet printed circuits
Usually when we talk about hacking electronic circuits and wires we’re referencing the people that bend circuits, but the folks at DIWire have a totally different approach. They’re are actually in the business of bending wires. Their new 3-D wire printer bends wires into curves that can be assembled to construct almost anything.
DIWire 3D Wire Bender
Practical uses for the printer include artistic design, small assemblies, organizers, and anything else you might want to put together with bended wire. It’s hard to tell exactly what uses it will be put to until it’s available to users and they get some time with it. It’s one of those interesting products that you know once people start to use that they will come up with things that are really surprising.
At this point the product is still a prototype. You can go to their website and give them your email address and other contact information so they can let you know soon as the product’s available. And, they expect to have a Kickstarter project active within the next month or so.