Monday, February 17, 2014

The Changing Future of Printers

The death of the printer, and of paper have long been foretold (and even wished for). However, we seem poised for a world where printers and paper are used differently than the past. You’ve probably heard of 3D printers at this point, which use plastic to print 3D objects. However, technology is also driving paper printing in interesting directions. If you make you ink conductive, by adding metal particles to it, cool possibilities emerge. Nordic Semiconductor is showing off this prototype, which uses one thin electronic module, along with conductive printing, to create a Bluetooth keyboard that is printed on paper:

Imagine a world where every classroom has a basic kit of thin components (a la erector sets/lego sets/etc), that can be combined with many different printed designs to fit the need of the moment. Imagine this going one step futher, where the entire design can be printed. Perhaps you will someday print and cut out pieces of circuitry (on paper), and then stack them according to instructions inside a plastic shell you’ve printed on your 3D printer! This could be a fascinating way to bring technology literacy into future classrooms. Future engineers could design their own circuits to print.

You can read more here.

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