PARC has been a leading innovator in printed electronics with over a decade of experience in large area electronics, application of novel and current printing technology to industrial applications and the printing of electronic circuits and devices. We are currently applying this knowledge to the concept of printing multi-material 3-dimensional objects with electronic and/or mechanical functionality. The concept is to develop capability and provide means of manufacturing functional objects which may be difficult to manufacture or even not be manufacturable by other means. In this paper, we will outline the creation of a rapid digital manufacturing system and considerations for building such a printer with the ability to integrate a structural material with functional electronic materials. The printer incorporates inkjet and extrusion techniques on the same platform, along with an in-line UV-curing lamp. This platform enables a wide processing window for structural and electronic materials; i.e., it is capable of patterning inks with viscosity ranging from 1 to 25000 cP. The printer has been optimized to yield smooth printed features (down to tens of microns) without implementing pressure-leveling steps.
Ready, S. E.; Endicott, F.; Whiting, G. L.; Ng, T.; Chow, E. M.; Lu, J. 3D printed electronics. NIP29 / Digital Fabrication 2013; 2013 September 30 - October 3; Seattle, WA.