Google’s Project Ara continues to explore new methods for constructing modular parts for smartphones. 3D Systems, the company currently responsible for building modules for Project Ara, is exploring the possibility of using conductive ink to print circuits.
Conductive ink is intended to be used mainly for antennas; although it is more often used in RFID tags. The method of laying down the ink is considered to be more economical for building circuits as opposed to etching copper into a surface. The partnership with Carnegie Mellon University and X5 Systems also includes experiments with advanced material strength. This is intended to allow modules to be printable with full spectrum, CMYKWT color plus support (meaning cyan, magenta, yellow, black, white and clear, with support), in hard and soft composite materials for the optimum lifespan of parts and ultimate customisation by the user.
All this means the chance of seeing less of the usual, black, white, and silver phones; and a wider range of colours, like those made by Nokia.
“The combination of exponential creation technology with exponential information technology translates to unprecedented capability and adaptability for the consumer,” said Chuck Hull, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of 3D Systems. “The scale of this project and its practical functionality are an exciting step into the future.”
[Source: 3D Systems]