NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Penrith, New South Wales, Australia, 2012/05/24 - The advantages of printed electronics have been touted for years and the 3D printing technique has seen only success in few markets. The printing techniques are coming close to the standard electronics manufacturing.
The age of printed electronics may soon be upon us. Following years of hype and development, technologies that allow chips and other electronic components to be made using techniques akin to 3D printing rather than by lithography or other standard methods may finally be reaching maturity.
Manufacturers using these techniques already with low-cost in digital sensors, price placards and memory chips. Such printed electronics could soon be found in newly interactive versions of traditional board games.
“Basically the whole printed electronics industry is going to be the next revolution in electronics technology," said Randall Sherman, an analyst who focuses on electronics manufacturing at New Ventures Research. "We're seeing just the tip of the iceberg at this point."
With printed electronics, transistors and other electronic components are typically deposited on sheets of plastic in successive layers, much like the way a 3D printer works.
Because of those advantages, printed electronic parts can potentially be made much faster at a much lower price than comparable silicon ones. And because they are printed on plastic rather than etched on silicon or glass, they can be incorporated into parts that can be bent or rolled up.
The industry's development has also been held up by a lack of obvious markets for its products, the immaturity of the technology, the continued advances in standard electronics manufacturing and the economic downturn, analysts and industry insiders say.
The 3D printing technology (3dstuffmaker.com) has been matured and manufacturers are starting to pinpoint large, ready markets for their products. Part of the challenge the industry faced was that it was developing individual components with cost less than the silicon-based counterparts, the cost advantage was often lost when they were combined with other parts.