Press Release Summary:
Consisting of electrically conductive liquid wire, Electric Paint can be used as cold-soldering medium or conductive adhesive. Non-toxic and solvent-free, product is suitable for rapid prototyping, repairing PCBs, and painting circuits and sensors on any surface. Once printed or applied, paint dries quickly at room temperature and can be removed with soap and water.
Original Press Release:
Electronic Paint: Another 3D Printing Material Candidate
3D printing has begun to take the world by storm ever since SLA printing was invented in the 1980s. In next 30 years, there are totally up to eleven printing methods developed. Those technologies are given name either by work material or print type. From resin to plastic, nylon and glass fiber, from gypsum and ceramic to metals and alloys, nearly any common material can be printed. With technology continuing to gain ground, it’s exciting to hear that London-based company Bare Conductive is providing a new printing material - electric paint.
Electric paint is an electrically conductive liquid wire, which can be used as a cold-soldering medium or conductive adhesive. Non-toxic and solvent-free, it can be used for rapid prototyping, repairing PCB, and painting circuits and sensors on any surface. Once printed or applied, the paint dries quickly at room temperature, and can be removed with soap and water. The liquid material makes a wonderful paint for 3D printing.
There are precedents for 3D printing using electric paint. In 2014, Bare Conductive team cooperated with another group to display how 3D printer could work with electric paint. The output was a printed fractal antenna that could receive and transmit electromagnetic radiation. Another successful case was one of 2014 best valentine gifts - geeky heart. It’s a fun toy working this way: turning the gears applies pressure to the batteries hidden inside heart, lighting up the eye-shaped LEDs. Although few details about how 3D printing was used are disclosed, it’s of certainty that 3D printing is a key research object in the two cases.
Due to conductivity, 3D printed circuit boards will be the application that electronic paint maximize its potential. Traditional manufacturing process of circuit boards is time and labor consuming. With the fast development of 3D printing, it may soon be used in production, and quality and efficiency will be greatly improved. Meanwhile other peripherals applications like metal repair, will also benefit from this project. We expect more researches in this field will be done and more working principles will be unveiled for public learning. Perhaps, right this moment, experts are treading on the road, pregnant with the 12th printing method or any other breakthrough.