Turtles all the way down: Fabbing circuit boards

  circuit_boards computers discussion engineering fabrication opensource

This brings us right along to designing and fabricating the circuit boards that our bright, shiny new open source chips will plug into. This level of complexity is probably one of the best understood parts of the development process. Arguably electrical engineering has been around since the discovery of electricity, because a circuit of some kind is required to guide an electrical current to do useful work. You could make the case that the wet string that Benjamin Franklin's kite was tied to was one of the first electrical conductors (because the Baghdad battery hypothesis has too many holes in …

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Outbreak of the future: 3D printing takes off like a shot.

  3d_printing circuit_boards electronics feedstock industry manufacture mcor microgravity objet1000 personal_manufacture satellites spaceflight staples technology

Last week there was a cluster of outbreaks of the future (thanks, Warren Ellis, for the term) in the field of 3D printing that caught me by surprise, not by their appearance but how they appeared in rapid succession to one another.

The first is an industrial grade 3D printer called the Objet1000, which is marketed for the production of full-scale prototypes and industrial models. It has a fabrication platform 39 inches by 31 inches in size (a little bigger, actually, but I'm deliberately dropping decimals today), and can print with any of 120 different substances, of which 14 at …

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