A company from Austin, Texas has developed an emerging technology in the field of engineering and electronics – a roller ball pen filled with a non-toxic conductive silver ink capable of drawing circuit diagrams on just a piece of paper. This emerging technology could possibly replace traditional methods of prototyping circuits, like bread boarding and fabrication of printed circuit board. It is seen as a great alternative to the costly printed circuit board because of its effortless methods of creating circuit diagrams and simulating it real time through the use of pre-built components.
The company aims to teach basic circuits and electronics creatively and allow people to build circuits faster, easier, and in a simpler way as compared to old methods like fabricating a printed circuit board. In this manner, young engineering enthusiasts and interested students will be able to experience electronics with a touch of creativity and art. More personalized circuit diagrams can be made through various strokes of the pen. Educating young students and electronics enthusiasts about engineering concepts can now be made even easier because of the introduction of such a cutting-edge device.
The pen allows users to draw smooth lines, doesn’t create a mess, and does not require much drying time. It acts like a normal ball pen, but with an amazing use in the world of circuitry. The breadboard and the printed circuit board can now be stored inside garages because using the pen is the best way to approach circuit drawing. Though it is also important to know the basics of creating circuits traditionally, this is nonetheless an effective way to teach young people about circuits and engineering. Besides, drawing lines on paper is much safer than actually touching chemicals.
So, the question now is, “would the pen be of any use to professionals and companies that focus on manufacturing PCBs?” Well, it should prove to be useful in the planning phase, but the outcome would never be a substitute for actual printed circuit boards. If you’re wondering why, you should keep in mind that gadgets need to be sufficiently sturdy to be of any use. Now, if you’re going to make circuits that run on a piece of paper, you might only be able to use those a couple of times. Rest assured that paper (or any material that’s easily found at home) won’t compare to the sheer durability of fiberglass, a common key component of printed circuit boards.
With that in mind, one thing should finally be clear to you – if you wish to become a true enthusiast, one who doesn’t merely focus on coming up with diagrams but actually creates working devices, you’ll still have to broaden your knowledge on creating an actual PCB. Likewise, if you’re thinking of starting a business and your goal is to cater to consumers who require PCBs made according to their specifications, you won’t be able to do much with this high-tech pen. It’s safe to say that no matter how revolutionary it is, it does have significant limitations.
For those with serious PCB needs, the pen won’t be replacing most traditional methods anytime soon. On the other hand, for individuals who don’t really need the best printed circuit boards to build top-quality electronics and are completely satisfied with gaining a basic understanding of how circuits work, the pen might just be among the greatest inventions in recent years. So, before you go out and buy that novel device, think of your needs and goals. After all, you might find it much more productive to simply get in touch with a credible manufacturer of printed circuit boards.