Circuit prototyping becomes easier with the “Instant inkjet circuits” – Microsoft research innovation


Circuit prototyping have always been a challenge getting your wires tangled trying out the prototype or shedding some money to have a printed circuit board which may fail but with this Technology from Microsoft reasearch along with Georgia Tech and university of Tokyo, you would be able to have working prototypes of your circuits in your hands within a minuite and a fully working device once you have assembled it.

Innovation is what brings new technology and it has been proved again. The device used to print the circuit is none other than a normal inkjet printer next to you. This technology called as Instant inkjet circuits is printed using materials around you on a inkjet printer, and you will have working circuits designed by you printed using a highly conductive ink that makes this possible. If you want to scan and print a hand drawn circuit you can do that too with just the ink in the cartridge.

The Silver nanoparticle ink can be injected into any empty cartridge and used with any common inkjet printer to start prototyping your circuit.It is as simple as that. The manufacture of such ink became possible with the advancement in chemically bonding metal particles and  to use silver nanoparticle ink to print the circuits and avoid thermal bonding.The circuit performs well when printed on a flexible resin-coated paper- or a PET film or a glossy photo paper and also there are few materials like canvas cloths and magnet sheets that wont have your circuit working.The electronic components can be attached to the printed circuits with the help of double-sided tape or silver epoxy adhesive.

The researchers claim that they have made printing prototype circuits using materials that is already with you like an ordinary drawing software on your computer to design the circuit, a paper, a normal inkjet printer to print the circuit and tapes or adhesive already lying on your desk for connecting your devices on the circuit.

Though electronic printing has been existing already , the printers that would do the job were priced high. But this technique makes it done with what you already have. Using this students could easily experiment their ideas by quickly designing a circuit and test its working within hours.

The image above is a circuit wiring pattern for an Arduino micro controller printed on a transparent PET coated sheet using the instant inkjet circuit ink.

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