(EL) panels are found in many electronics applications, particularly
as backlighting for LCD displays, keypads, watches, and other areas
requiring uniform, low-power illumination. While relatively flexible,
when EL panels made from
plastic are bent too sharply, fractures and a severely diminished
output usually result. As a result,
EL panels have generally been restricted to flat or slightly curved
surfaces. However, researchers from Karlsruhe
Institute of Technology (KIT) and
Franz Binder GmbH & Co have now developed a new manufacturing process to print
EL panels directly onto the surface of almost any convex and concave shape. Even, apparently, onto spheres.
Earlier this year, Polaroid unveiled its pocket-sized Zip (Zink Instant Photoprinter) designed for linking to a smartphone to crank out full-color images on demand. Gizmag recently had a chance to put one through its paces as Polaroid goes back to its instant pictures roots.
Researchers at Purdue University have shown how standard inkjet-printers can be employed to produce flexible electronic circuits from liquid-metal nanoparticle inks. This simple printing solution promises faster, cheaper, and easier production of stretchable, bendable electronics for clothing, soft robotics, and wearable devices.
Printing a castle
or jet engine
is quite an achievement, but inventor Miguel Valenzuela has a bigger dream – a dream in which any man, woman, or child can simply print pancakes in whatever novelty two-dimensional shape they can think of. He's now turned to Kickstarter in the hope of turning that dream into reality.
For years now, we've been promised miraculous new flexible touchscreen displays
, but the deployment of such technology in big consumer products, like say the LG G Flex
, hasn't started any revolutions just yet. That could soon change thanks to a team of computer scientists from Germany's Saarland University who have developed a technique that could allow anyone to literally print their own custom touchscreen displays.
In designing and prototyping electronic circuit boards there is no quick or simple way to produce results. Many hours of design and development need to be expended on prototype layouts along with masking, etching, and populating those boards with components. Even after all of this, just one simple layout mistake can ruin all of your work and you have to go through the entire process again. The Voltera V-One aims to change all of that with the promise of a one button, conductive ink printing system solely designed to reduce the effort in rapid, small run hardware prototyping.
Polaroid has been teasing us with the release of its Socialmatic
camera for a while now, and after some delays it is finally shipping. We got our hands on the company's big square Android-based digital camera with built-in zero-ink printer at CES 2015
and can also confirm it actually works as advertised.
The 3D printers of today can produce objects that may be quite intricate in shape but, by and large, these objects are still made solely of "dumb" plastic. This may be about to change thanks to the Voxel8, a printer presented at CES that makes it much easier to blend plastic, conductive ink and other electronic components in the same object to manufacture highly customizable devices, such as your very own quadcopter.
Sharing photos on social media is fun, but it's still nice to have printed copies of our favorite shots. A new mobile photo printer from Polaroid lets users print out photos that they have taken on their smartphones. The Polaroid Zip produces small color prints in around a minute.
Unless you add "3D" to the mix, printers aren't often worth getting very excited about nowadays, but printer manufacturer Primera Technology has revealed what it reckons is the world's smallest and lightest all-in-one printer at this year's CES. The Primera Trio weighs 1.2 kg (2.7 lbs), is compared by the firm to the size of a hardcover book, and can run from an optional battery pack.