3D Print Plastic & Electronics in One Pass

Three Stanford University graduate students have developed open-source technology that 3D prints conductive traces and plastic in one pass. Their startup, Rabbit Proto, is selling a single liquid syringe extruder that plugs into a filament fusion printer, a plug-in replacement dual extruder, and an entire dual-extrusion 3D printer.

Filament fusion printers equipped with both extruder heads can deposit conductive ink on 3D surfaces (or inside a plastic printed object) and print the plastic part. This promises to speed up the design and prototyping of small electronic devices, such as game controllers and wearable electronics.

The four pieces of this puzzle were printed separately using the InnoEx printer to demonstrate the capability of printing circuits on 3D surfaces. An LED, a regular resistor, and a three-pin female pin header were embedded inside the puzzle. (Source: Rabbit Proto/Design News)

Read more by Ann R. Thryft, Design News, 6/5/14