The manufacturing process for electronics has come a long way, but it’s still incredibly expensive. The smaller circuit boards get, the more difficult they are to make without the proper equipment – and that equipment isn’t cheap. But what if you want to make your own electronics at home?
Print a Circuit on Anything…
Unlike other 3D printers, The EX¹ is designed for only one purpose: printing circuits. Normally, homemade circuits are created by etching the pattern into a blank board. This process is incredibly time consuming, and the only other option is to request a board etched with the design you need.
The EX¹ aims to make the process a lot faster by creating the board for you. Instead of etching a design into a pre-made board, it prints out layers of silver nano particles to create the board needed. You then add the additional pieces, and you’ve got a working electronic. You don’t even need a soldering iron to add components – you can use conductive glue instead.
What’s really cool about the EX¹ is that it allows you to print on nearly any surface, including cloth, wood, and even glass. This means that you can wear electronics on your sleeves, add a clock to a cool item you found at thrift store, or anything else you can think of.
…And Anyone Can Print One
The entire purpose of the EX¹ is to allow anyone to make electronics, even if they don’t have a soldering iron or other materials. Because of this, the printers will be incredibly cheap, starting at only a few thousand dollars. (For comparison, other circuit printers run around $50,000 each.)
The printing software will also be easy to use, allowing you to either just print a basic image or customize each level of the printing process. This means that even newbies can still try out the process.
The EX¹ isn’t available yet, but you can still support it! Head on over to the Kickstarter page to learn more about the project and help fund it, if you’re interested. It’s already blown past the funding goal, and the first batch of printers should ship by the middle of next year.