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Spotlight on PCBs: Far from Boring

Most electronic devices in the world have one thing in common: they each contain a printed circuit board (PCB). This sometimes small and seemingly innocuous device is fundamental to a connected world.
The purpose of each PCB is different, but each circuit board speaks a common language that is spelled out with metallic “tracks” on the face of and embedded in the PCB. These metallic lines conduct electrical current and trigger the electronic components assembled on the face of the PCB in a specific way, allowing the PCB to function.
The size and cost of PCB components has fallen over the years and advances in additive digital manufacturing processes enabled through conductive inks offer even more potential for cost reductions and also make new designs possible. Our Sicrys portfolio of single-crystal, nanometric conductive inks are uniquely designed for additive, digital 3D inkjet printing, enabling the use of the inks on mass production processes. As the inks can be processed at relatively low temperatures, they enable the production of flexible PCBs. Our line of inks also utilizes the minimum amount of metal necessary with little to no waste, bringing costs down further. PCB manufacturers now have the option to produce new designs with shorter set up and delivery time, more environmentally friendly production, and at lower costs than ever before.

3D Printing Innovation Continues
Thirsty? Try the Ripple Maker Printer. This 3D printer doesn’t use conductive inks – our favorite material for 3D printing – but its medium is a close second: coffee! PV Nano Cell inks come in copper and silver, but the Ripple Maker prints custom designs on your coffee foam – an exciting and high-tech start to anyone’s day.
A flexible patch can help detect alcohol levels in the body, and printed electronics have everything to do with it. Engineers at the University of California San Diego have devised a temporary tattoo that can instantly read and communicate blood alcohol content in real time – a promising technology for keeping roads safe and alcohol consumption at a healthy level.

Optomec now 3D printing smartphones
 Smartphones might be a great fit for the 3D printing industry. Optomec, an advanced 3D printing company whose printers are an excellent fit for conductive inks, is now 3D printing smartphones! The company is pushing the envelope with its innovation around mass production via 3D printing.
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