PARC Sees Opportunities for Printed Electronics
27 February 2014 | Printed Electronics Now
by David Savastano
Since it was founded in 1970 by Xerox Corporation, the Palo Alto Research Center, or PARC, has played a key role in changing the way people live. Considering the everyday items that PARC had a hand in inventing - laser printing, liquid crystal displays (LCD), graphical user interface and the Ethernet to name but a few – PARC is in a unique position to develop new innovations.
The fact that PARC is heavily interested in the field of printed electronics (PE) is of note, as the independent institute - it spun out of Xerox in 2002 - has a history of success. The company has been interested in the potential of thin film electronics, developing printed thin-film transistors utilizing amorphous silicon on flexible substrates as early as 1983, and created some of the first plastic semiconductors in 2003.
Leon Wong, PARC director, market strategy, noted that PARC has formed partnerships in a number of markets where PE can play a role.
3 Ways 3-D Printing Could Transform Your Office
2 February 2014 | Real Business
by Giovanna Fabiano
Is the 3-D printer the unofficial symbol of the new Industrial Revolution? That’s what scientists and tech experts have been proselytizing to anyone who will listen.
In some sectors, such as healthcare, the gadget does indeed have the potential to revolutionize medicine.
Surgical instruments, hearing aids, prosthetics and umbilical cord clamps are being crafted by 3-D printers.
Tech companies are able to fine-tune their latest electronic devices in the design phase by making hundreds of 3-D prototypes. And industrial-sized 3-D printers are transforming aviation, with companies like GE using them to create jet engine parts.
But is there any palpable utility for the rest of us? Aside from its exciting ability to spit out burritos, deep fried scallops shaped like space shuttles and bobbleheads in our likeness?
Leon Wong, director of PARC Inc., A Xerox Company, in Palo Alto, Calif., focusing on technological innovation, said additive manufacturing, which extends to both 3-D printing and printed electronics will indeed change the world — it’s just “going to take some time.”
“Much of the applications are prototyping at this point, but the enormous potential for 3-D printing is everywhere —a lot of it just depends on what your business is.”
Does 3D Printing Work with Wiring?
Additive manufacturing can be used to produce connectors and terminals
1 October 2013 | Assembly Magazine
by Austin Weber
According to many experts, 3D printing promises to revolutionize the way numerous products are designed and mass-produced. Among other things, the technology can be used to create connectors, terminals and other wiring harness components. And, some day not too far down the road, 3D-printed parts may even eliminate the need for traditional wire and cable assemblies.
Additive manufacturing “prints” an object from a digital file by depositing one layer of material on top of another. It allows companies to more easily manufacture complex shapes and structures that have been traditionally been difficult to make with plastic-injection molding and other old-school processes.
While 3D printing holds tremendous promise, it’s not about to be used in mass-production any time soon. That’s because electrical wiring systems are different than other types of products where the technology is being used, such as creating custom jigs and fixtures.
Does 3D printing have a future?
12 July 2013 | Assembly Magazine
by Austin Weber
"Although continuous improvement is still needed with novel materials and innovative process technologies, Wong predicts the future looks bright for printed electronics (PE). 'There’s a future convergence coming in which integrated 3D and PE printers will create smart objects, such as bandages that offer medical diagnostics,' he explains.
Wong believes that printed electromechanical items are not that far off. 'Mechanical and electronics manufacturing will all occur under one roof some day,' he says. 'That will result in hybrid products that disrupt traditional supply chains.'”
The Next Manufacturing Revolution Is Not 3D. It’s Software
12 June 2013 | Techonomy
by Leon Wong
PARC's Leon Wong writes, "The buzz about 3D printing, or 'additive manufacturing,' is so loud it’s easy to mistake it for a technology that will solve all of manufacturing’s challenges. Prices for 3D printers are dropping furiously...There’s even talk about printing out electronics integrated into the mechanical structures. But for many factories of the future, the 3D printer will simply be an important piece of equipment that works in harmony with other elements."
On moving printed electronics from enabling technology to application
22 November 2011 | Printed Electronics World
by Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx
"IDTechEx recently visited PARC in California and learnt of its business model today, culture, and legacy pioneering technological change...among many other industry contributions.
Below, I share some updates on what IDTechEx has been observing at PARC. Taken together, these updates convey an important movement beyond the enabling materials, processes, equipment, and components."