Circuit board made of solder?
July 31, 2013 05:15PM
Two steps:

1. Print a grooved board out of ABS.

2. Run solder through the extruder and fill in the grooves, making a circuitboard.

Has this been done?
Re: Circuit board made of solder?
July 31, 2013 05:38PM
Wow.. that's an interesting idea. However, I wonder if the ABS board will hold up to the melting temperature of the soldier.. don't they pretty much have the same melting point?

What about just printing solder lines on a plate - like a wooden plate? Without a groove the solder may flatten out a little bit, but if it doesn't require high precision, then maybe that's that a problem (but will be a problem for IC and stuff).

One way or another, I would guess this will require a different set of extruder unit... I wonder 3D printing using lead/solder is something that's been tried before or not...
Re: Circuit board made of solder?
July 31, 2013 09:32PM
Dual extruders are pretty popular these days. I figured this was a hell of a lot better use than a second color. At any rate, it would bring us one step closer to the reprap being truly self replicating.

Even if it's an inferior product, as long as it works, that would be awesome. I'm going to run some tests and I'll update with results.
Re: Circuit board made of solder?
July 31, 2013 10:02PM
I just don't see this working. The solder isn't going to wet out the plastic, its got a ton of surface tension and is just going to want to ball up, channels or no. Think of trying to bridge a gap of solder resist.
Re: Circuit board made of solder?
July 31, 2013 11:25PM
Maybe we can have the third extruder, to paste rosin into the grove as a bonding agent for the solder. smiling smiley
Re: Circuit board made of solder?
August 01, 2013 10:14AM
Ah-hah! I've found someone who has boldly explored this idea before!
Re: Circuit board made of solder?
August 01, 2013 04:01PM
... this can be much easier, when using wires from low-temp alloys like Roses Metal (melts around 98 degC) or Field Metal (melts around 71 degC, but more toxic!).

Or if you get a laser powerfull enough to melt the metal wire ... did something similar for ceramic microsensors with platinum and gold wires and a 20Watts disk-laser.

With the 9Watt-IR-diodes I'm actually developing for lasercutting/engraving it's possible to melt solder wire, so even better for the low-temp alloys.

With the 50Watt-fiberlaser or a 120Watt-NdYAG-laser, I'm trying to change for diode-pumping instead of arc-lamp, this can be done even with copper or other metals common for PCB's -- some years ago I've fused/brazed Kovar-stripes to pads and to itself with 'pulsing' NdYAG-lasers with 3Watt CW and 30Watt CW ...

Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - []

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - []
Re: Circuit board made of solder?
August 01, 2013 04:43PM
The problem with delving into lasers and such, is that it's not something easily on-hand. I want to try and modify the current extruder and reprap system ever-so-slightly so that anyone with a reprap can change a few nuts and bolts and have this new ability.

I'm thinking a bowden style extruder would be best with a steel extruder head and a .5mm or smaller hole.
I just studied a little over on this site.

Seems Jeff was giving it a go but hasn't updated in almost a year. I shot him off an e-mail.

I read somewhere that the problem with fields metal and roses metal is that they are too brittle to hold in a spool.
Re: Circuit board made of solder?
August 02, 2013 04:30PM
If you could cool the solder as it is extruded you might be able to reduce the problems with surface tension. the outside of the nozzle would also have to have a coating so the solder didn't just stick to it.
Re: Circuit board made of solder?
September 26, 2013 11:30AM
It seems the interesting idea because it increases the reliability of the circuit from the wear and tear but it is not so easy because in it we have to use the excessive solder and the biggest problem with the solder is its more surface tension and that is why it tries to take the spherical shape rather than spreading on the surface, so you should have to do something to solve this problem.

turnkey pcb
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