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Printed Smart Objects and Their Digital Fabrication

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Printing Technologies are additive technologies which allow the deposition of functional materials exactly at positions where they are needed to assure a certain functionality, e.g., employing traditional inks, printers print the functionality color. During the development of traditional and digital printing technologies press makers and printers gained a number of very special competences which enable them to extend their scope to print inks addressing functionalities beyond color. By printing inks which represent the functionalities insulation, conductivity and semi-conductivity in appropriate patterns on top of each other, electrical circuitry, can be manufactured which allow introducing new functionalities into printed matter. The choice of the technology per printed functionality depends on the printability of the functional ink. Future Hybrid Manufacturing Systems will consist of a modular designed machine base which will allow the user to “knob-in” the printing technology he needs for a given functionality, efficiently conflating the traditional and the modern non-impact ones. The deposition of the materials in required patterns will be complemented by further digital manufacturing technologies. Most promising is laser technology for pattern improvement, post-press treatment of the printed patterns, and cutting. This employment of digital fabrication technologies will facilitate very short runs and change over times.

The paper will discuss opportunities, challenges and limitations of printing smart objects with functionalities beyond color.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2011

More about this publication?
  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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