Jan 5, 2015

Voxel8 conductive ink embedded electronic circuits 3d printer

Voxel8 presented the world's first commercially available FDM 3d printer with conductive ink embedding (aka. electronics 3d printer). There have been several projects, conductive filaments that are available and DIY solutions but nothing on this scale and in a serious market oriented company. Technology was developed in cooperation with Lewis Research Group at Harvard University and software with Autodesk.

Voxel8 technical specifications: 
  • Printing Technology: FFF, Pneumatic Direct Write
  • Build Volume: 4"x6"x4"(10X15x10cm)
  • Layer Resolution: 200 microns
  • Filament Size: 1.75mm
  • Pause / Resume Prints: Yes
  • Bed: Kinematically Coupled
  • Conductive Trace Width: 250 microns
  • Software: Hosted Cloud
  • Supported Files: STL, PLY, OBJ, OFF, AMF
  • Connectivity: USB, WiFi
  • Supported Browsers: Chrome, Firefox
  • Materials: PLA, Conductive Silver Ink
  • Conductive Silver Ink Resistivity: 5.00 × 10-7 Ω-m
  • Silver Ink Cure Time: 5 minutes

Here you can see how the Voxel8 deposits conductive wires made by extruding the special conductive ink on a internal layer FDM printed object. The electronic component is placed manually after the software stops the print process so the user can implant the chip. Voxel8 claims that they are primarily a materials company, so the ink is THE main component and technology.

Here is the nozzle depositing a conductive trace inside a 3d printed quadcopter frame:

This electronics printer has a special software custom made for the Voxel8 named Project Wire which was developed by Autodesk.

Here is video presentation of Voxel8 machine and technology:

You can order it as Developer’s Kit package that includes training for price of $8,999.

Voxel8 homepage: http://www.voxel8.co/

There are no independent test or reviews for this machine so we will see what the future holds for this market segment.