so, with 3D printing, has it been possible to create a motherboard with colors and layers in a fluid organic nature?
Nobody yet is printing multilayer circuit boards with 3d printers.
@John_Bump are you talking just about cheap hobbyist machines, or has nobody in industry done that yet?
Nobody. Circuit boards are laminated layers of fiberglass and epoxy, for solidity and temperature-handling, with layers of copper sheet, for current-carrying. Modern motherboards have unbelievably tight constraints on copper trace thickness and the dielectric constants of the surrounding fiberglass/epoxy, to minimize inductance and resistance losses. There aren’t any processes I know of that can additively create ultra-low-resistance, ultra-precision copper interleaved with durable, strong dielectrics. (The boards I work on are 24 layers thick, and many of the layers, both copper and dielectric, are 0.004" thick, and they’re not even modern high-speed motherboards.)
With that said, creating a silkscreen/soldermask layer and laminating that to the top of an existing board would be a vastly easier project, and give you the look you’re wanting. I routinely get exotic-color PCB’s because I think they’re perky: red and green ones at christmas, yellow and white ones at easter, whatever.
We are not quite there yet, but there are some interesting trends developing in the area of 3D printed circuits: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130509-paper-printed-circuits-electronics-technology-science/?now=2013-05-09-00:01
Even if we could, it wouldn’t be cost effective.
Christ there may be hope for the lab yet… Casey… I have had success embedding led in panel art using ferrous paint sold at hardware stores to make walls magnetic… I see no reason why layers cant be used.
Theoreticly it would be possible to make your own pcb in a organic shape. As long as you find a way to glue copper sheet against the surface. Copper is soft so maybe could be rolled out to get the shape of the form.
Basicly you need to make a mold. Put some layers of fiberglass in it and top it off with the copper. The copper can’t have any wrinkles or cuts or your pcb won’t work.
The etching will be the hard part. How to get your transfer on there? You would need a laser projector. This is the only thing that could photo transfer your layout, since laser has no “out of focus”.
Copper tape works.well for simple circuits
The problem is that a motherboard needs quite some size. You don’t have tape in those sizes. And if there is a cut between 2 pieces of tape you connection won’t work.
You’ll need a one piece copper sheet or put the copper on there by electrolysis.
An other problem is that modern motherboards have controlled-impedance, length-matched copper traces, typically in groups of 64 lines wide. It’s challenging to fabricate those with modern, very well-understood photolithographic techniques.
However, if you want to make your own PCB’s there are a bunch of good ways. Google toner transfer PCB for making masks using a laser printer and magazine pages, etched with common household chemicals. I use a milling machine to cut traces in copper adhered to fiberglass, and do quite fine pcb’s… but nowhere nearly as precise as a modern PC processor requires.
Both points are true.
Casey, I’m gonna guess you wanna make a custom box that doesn’t look like a box. If I’m correct, give a hai and I’ll guide you through the problems I ran into when I tried it. Your results may vary.
I can guarantee that in 10 years, we’ll be printing circuit boards. Probably 3 dimensional, conformal product integrated, with some embedded components.
@Robert- It took me half a day to fully grok that. I’ve been wondering on about how we get from plastic extruded shapes to replicators and that set the dam crack running.
@Shaun_Pearson I just want to say one word to you. Just one word… graphene.
@Robert_Wozniak Yeah, I’ve been briefed… to a limited extent. From an engineering perspective I’m skeptical about any widescale use of this stuff (remember the buckyball? or carbon nanotubes?) However… I’m dying to see or read about any details that so far are still “trade secrets”. The only demo or poc I’ve seen is that tennis racket and well… It’s a tennis racket.
That’s where I read about graphene, on the damn tennis rackets. And yes, I was thinking of a way to be creative with computer designs. Maybe with the new APUs that AMD is/will turn out, we can get away with discreet graphic cards and the bulky sizes… I thought if a 3D printer can progress to the point of micron precision, then why not design a circuit board that is like round?