I read in Electronics Weekly this week that the boffins over at Georgia Tech, alongside people from Microsoft Research and Tokyo University have developed a method of ‘printing’ circuit boards using a standard off the shelf ink-jet printer.
They basically took an empty ink cartridge and filled with an electrically conductive ink made with ‘silver nano particles’. When you print the circuit onto paper, the tracks are electrically conductive.
The main issue really is that it’s pretty hard to actually mount components onto paper, so they have to be glued on with electrically conductive paste. This is OK for basic proof of concept stuff, but it looks like we are still a way off from having truly functional printed-at-home circuit boards.
You can read the press release at Georgia Tech’s website here.