3D printing circuits

HotSauce

New Around These Parts
Joined
Nov 6, 2020
Messages
16
#1
Hey folks,

For those who don't know me, I have a lot of fun 3D printing -

Recently I learned about a type of printer filament that's electrically conductive. The more affordable option is not really usable for audio electronics and other small signal amplifiers due to high volume resistivity of 30 ohm-cm. By comparison copper has a volume resistivity of just .00000172 ohm-cm. Oh well, these ideas would have to wait I guess...

But the other day I learned of another conductive filament:

https://www.multi3dllc.com/product/electrifi/

This one has a volume resistivity of just .006 ohm-cm - now we are talking! It's expensive, but the amount used per circuit would be so small that a single reel would probably last a long time. This would be a really good way of prototyping in a neat and clean way without having to change a lot of values when switching to an etched PCB. The weird part is you can't really solder to it in the same way - but that shouldn't be a big issue, you can reflow the filament itself with a soldering iron and apply a bit of silver paste or conductive epoxy to sure up the connection. This is still in the idea phase but if it worked it would be a great use of a 3D printer and a way to fabricate organized prototype circuits in a short time.

Anybody out there ever etched your own PCBs? How involved was that and do you think this process would have been useful to you? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Josh
 

WOPL Sniffer

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Arizona
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Screw it
#2
The guys in Hong Kong will spit you out boards for less than a dollar. I've had several built and they are very nice and have lasted several years now. I think I bought 50 of my regulator boards for $30 shipped. All done and delivered in a week. The design software is free too. All you do is draw the skizmo, hit the convert to PCB button, pick your color and how many and BAMM..... done

I tried my hand at the etched pcb deal.... they don't look great
 

HotSauce

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Messages
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#3
Good point. Maybe that would be my step 2. I'm thinking this 3d printing thing might be useful for perfecting the design. Would hate to order a pack of 50 and have to make changes!
 

WOPL Sniffer

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Joined
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Messages
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Screw it
#4
Good point. Maybe that would be my step 2. I'm thinking this 3d printing thing might be useful for perfecting the design. Would hate to order a pack of 50 and have to make changes!

You order 4 boards for evaluation, if all is good, order more. If they need tweaking, tweak the skizmo and layout and order 4 more...... You don't need to order 50
 

HotSauce

New Around These Parts
Joined
Nov 6, 2020
Messages
16
#8
Nice! Looks clean. I appreciate the tip. I'll definitely let you know if I decide to make any en masse. So far I haven't fabricated any circuits I needed more than one of, so just been using vector board for that. The conductive filament is pretty expensive anyway, though there's a certain novelty to it haha.

Don't got any hondas at the moment but I did print a shift knob adapter once for my Subaru.

Am I crazy or do those LEDs look like they are made of jello? I can almost see them jiggle a little. :mrgreen:
 
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