Scientists at the University of Warwick in the UK have developed a new material called “Carbomorph” which allows 3D printers to print components such as electronic sensors.
While 3D printing technology is slowly entering the consumer market, particularly through new devices such as the RepRap and [email protected], these devices have until now been limited in their ability to print electronics components.
In a paper published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE, the scientists claim the new material can overcome these limits.
“[Carbomorph] can be used in an unmodified low-cost 3D printer to print electronic sensors able to sense mechanical flexing and capacitance changes,” the researchers state.
“This capability can be used to produce custom sensing devices and user interface devices along with printed objects with embedded sensing capability.”
“This advance in low-cost 3D printing [will] offer a new paradigm in the 3D printing field with printed sensors and electronics embedded inside 3D printed objects in a single build process without requiring complex or expensive materials incorporating additives such as carbon nanotubes.”