3D printed circuit board

Another approach to 3D printed circuit building from Thingiverse

Thingiverse user CarryTheWhat has taken a novel approach to building simple electronic circuits with his solder-free 3D-printed circuit board library. The library includes battery holders and pegs for other components, a few different printed switches, and uses conductive thread to make the connections.

Being able to create simple circuits on a desktop 3D printer would be a great boon to hobbyists. The first signs of development in this area came in 2009 when Bath University mechanical engineering student Rhys Jones revived the old idea of making circuit boards by depositing metal into pre-formed channels. He modified his RepRap 3D printer to extrude molten solder into a pre-printed ABS plastic channel.

More recently, Fab@Home have demonstrated the use of conductive and non-conductive silicone to print flexible objects with internally embedded circuitry laid out in three dimensions.

It is unlikely that hobby printers are going to be churning out complex circuits any time soon, but for simple circuits this could be a great tool in the maker’s toolbox.

In the professional realm, there are some impressive developments coming down the line too, as outlined by Ponoko CEO David ten Have in this Wired article from late last year.

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4 Responses to “3D printed circuit board”

  1. 3D-Printed Circuit Boards | TransAlchemy Says:

    [...] Ponoko] Related Posts:New and Awesome on Make: ProjectsShapeOko, the $300 CNC KitLongboard Generates [...]

  2. fabricación personal | Pearltrees Says:

    [...] Thingiverse user CarryTheWhat has taken a novel approach to building simple electronic circuits with his solder-free 3D-printed circuit board library . The library includes battery holders and pegs for other components, a few different printed switches, and uses conductive thread to make the connections. Being able to create simple circuits on a desktop 3D printer would be a great boon to hobbyists. 3D printed circuit board « Ponoko – Blog [...]

  3. 3D-Printed Circuit Boards Says:

    [...] This code base is intended to replace conventional etched PCBs, initially for very simple applications. Included is a basic feature set, described in the Instructions. The pictures and uploaded STL files are for a simple circuit which demonstrates these features: a battery holder (I used 3 watch batteries instead of AAs to quickly and easily step up the voltage and save plastic and time), a momentary push-button, a toggle switch, and an LED holder. [via Ponoko] [...]

  4. Adam Says:

    Some good proofs of concept there. Being able to produce simple circuit boards using a 3D printer will be a great thing for hobbyists, and those days are not too far away now…