Circuits printing with conductive inks

tintas conductoras

Printing with inks

We are used to hearing the word “printing” and thinking of the typical paper printer, with ink, the usual one. 

Some people may think of additive manufacturing using 3D printing when they hear the word “printing”, but the traditional method is the rule.

Luckily, there is more and more innovation in the rapid prototyping sector, and in particular in the additive manufacturing sector. We have already spoken on some occasions of new materials incorporated into additive manufacturing technology, such as carbon fibre or ceramics. Not only are new materials being included, but we are also capable of creating new printing methods with incredible qualities.

Today is one of those days, a day when we are going to talk about a printing technology that is revolutionising the world of printed circuits, printing with conductive inks.

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Do you want to try this technology for your project? What are you waiting for? Click in the link down below and start discovering a new world of possibilities.

What is conductive ink?

This ink is an ordinary ink, the only difference compared to the ink in your pen is that it contains particles of conductive elements, such as silver powder or flakes, or graphite particles.

These particles are what give the ink the ability to transmit current when energy is applied.

Ink is found in two phases, liquid and solid. When it is deposited on the material it is first in a liquid state, where the conductive particles float in the form of spheres allowing the electrons to jump. Once the ink has dried it solidifies, making the connections between the conductive particles rigid so that the current can flow.

tintas conductoras

In order to apply this ink to the surface of our component, a printer designed for this type of ink is used. However, it is not much different from a conventional printer than the ones we have at home.

In Abilista we are able to offer this incredible technology thanks to one of our suppliers, Idonial. At Idonial they have this type of printer and inks that are revolutionising the additive manufacturing sector.

Advantages of conductive ink

Probably the most remarkable advantage of this technology is the speed with which circuits can be printed. It is no longer necessary to employ the traditional method of copper engraving, and the printing of conductive inks does not generate any waste to be treated, thus lowering manufacturing costs.

Other qualities to take into account in comparison with traditional copper cabling is that the inks do not have any age, so they do not lose their qualities over time. In addition, there is no possibility of breakage of the same, and this takes up much less space than cabling.

Other curious characteristics are:

This ink is not only applicable to paper as it is to ordinary paper, but it can also be applied to a wide variety of materials, which broadens its possibilities of use in different sectors as we will discuss later.

Materials used with conductive ink

Demand sectors for conductive ink

There are many industries that demand this new technology. 

Thanks to their advantages of taking up little space and lasting over time, they are ideal for use in components with many connections and little space, such as drones or car steering wheels.

Conductive ink applications

And I want to focus on RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips. These chips are currently manufactured by stamping a metal antenna, which makes them very expensive. These chips are currently used in modern banknotes, but are designed to be the future of the global supply chain, so that they can be very accurately tracked and easily accessed.

By printing conductive inks, the cost of the RFID chip is reduced and the future is closer than ever.

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Do you have any concerns or questions about this technology? Try now our FREE experts consultation for 45 minutes.

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