Electronics 3D Printing, which combines your standard Additive Manufacturing and elements of PCB prototyping, came one step closer to your cluttered desktop. Voxel8 just released to CES 2015 an amazing video demonstrating their first commercial product, showing off how it can 3D Print plastic and conductive ink traces, allowing anyone to create a completely integrated product. Usually when people ask me to print an iPhone, I have to explain how misled they were about 3D Printing. Now I have to show them a Voxel8.

The materials and technique are not particularly advanced – conductive inks and electronics integrated into 3D printed parts have been done before and there is, of course, BotFactory.co.

However, from what we can see, Voxel8 has done a great job creating a pleasing-to-look-at product, and the software package looks professional and powerful. Called Project Wire, Voxel8 partnered with Autodesk Spark to create an end-to-end software solution, allowing users to place components within a 3D Model and create traces between the components. 

and yes, you will be able to get your hands on one soon.

According to Voxel8’s website, they are now taking $500 deposits for pre-orders, or $8,999 for the whole package (with some goodies like extra filament and ink).

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My mind is spinning with possibilities. First, does this mean Skynet can easily replicate itself? Second, DIY Wearables? Well, those just became a whole lot easier.

On the side, I think a niche yet important application would be drones and aeronautical applications, as 3D printed items are often really quite light and strong. For ordinary engineering and design purposes, a machine like this is perfect for creating fully functional prototypes without having to make space for an Arduino or some breadboard, or perhaps expensive, custom-made PCB boards. Still, I think self-replicating robots are the first application.

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What would you use it for?

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