Electroninks to Make Particle-Free Metal Inks Available for Electronics Production


Share this Article

Austin-based 3D-printing materials company Electroninks has announced that it will be making its proprietary line of metal organic decomposition (MOD) inks available to customers at production scale. The company, which received funding in February from intelligence community venture capital firm In-Q-Tel, specializes in producing inks for printed electronics and semiconductors.

The CircuitJet PCB prototyping printer from Electroninks. Image courtesy of YouTube.

In a press release, Electroninks’ co-founder and CEO, Brett Walker, referred to the MOD inks as the company’s “special sauce”, and noted, “Traditional conductive inks and metal deposition methods have been around for decades, but are slow, problematic, expensive, and not at all environmentally friendly. Our metal complex particle-free inks radically change the game. …[they] set a new standard for conductive inks in 21st century electronics manufacturing.”

The company also places a strong emphasis on tailoring its silver, gold, and platinum-based inks to customers’ specifications. Aside from working directly with key purchasers of Electroninks’ products — such as the U.S. Air Force, which last October awarded the company a $1.5 million contract, in large part to develop these same inks — the focus on customization is more generally built into the business model. For one thing, the company has worked to develop its inks so that they can be effectively used with a variety of printing techniques, especially inkjet, aerosol, and screen printing.

Additionally, the inks are categorized into three product lines, optimized for three main types of printed electronics end-products. The CircuitShield is designed for electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding and back-end semiconductor metallization, and would thus be ideal for printed circuit board (PCB) applications. The CircuitWrap is best for touch screens and LED displays, while the CircuitSeed seems like it can be used for a variety of end-products, but is meant to be used in combination with more conventional electronic plating methods. In turn, the CircuitSeed inks, as the company puts it, can reduce “a 20-plus step process to a few steps”, while also using much less energy and water.

It’s notable that In-Q-Tel also recently made an investment into Fortify, a specialist in composite printing materials, including dialectic resins. Given the old comparison of 3D printing feedstocks to the razor-and-blades model, such an influential entity’s cornering of the market in materials could be a signal of a new period of growth for the 3D printing industry. Moreover, common sense indicates that Electroninks wouldn’t be making its inks available for production scale unless the company expected there to be a market for production-scale quantities of electronics 3D printing materials. This, along with numerous other recent stories, suggests that the 3D printing of phones and tablets could come sooner than expected.

Finally, the possibilities for using Electroninks’ technology for repair seem even greater than for production. The potential for 3D-printed chip repair could not only bolster supply chains in the future, but, perhaps even more importantly, would be enormously beneficial to improving the sustainability of the electronics industry.

To learn more about the company, check out our recent 3DPOD episode with Eletroninks CEO Brett Walker:

3DPOD Episode 101: 3D Printing Conductive Inks with Brett Walker, CEO of Electoninks

Images courtesy of Electroninks.

Share this Article

Recent News

3D Printing Serves as a Bridge to Mass Production in New Endeavor3D White Paper

3DPOD Episode 200: Joris and Max Wax Philosophic on Five Years of Podcasting


3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns

You May Also Like


Printing Money Episode 18: The DC Fly-In with Mark Burnham, AddMfgCoalition

It’s only been a week since the previous show, but Printing Money is back already with Episode 18. Certain events call for Printing Money’s coverage, and the recent 2nd Annual...

3DPOD Episode 199: Collaborative Design with Graham Bredemeyer, CEO of CADchat

About a decade ago, entrepreneur Graham Bredemeyer started Collider, a company that combined the best of 3D printing with injection molding. Now he runs CADChat, which hopes to make sharing...

Printing Money Episode 17: Recent 3D Printing Deals, with Alex Kingsbury

Printing Money is back with Episode 17!  Our host, NewCap Partners‘ Danny Piper, is joined by Alex Kingsbury for this episode, so you can prepare yourself for smart coverage laced...

3DPOD Episode 198: High Speed Sintering with Neil Hopkinson, VP of AM at Stratasys

Neil Hopkinson, a pioneering 3D printing researcher, played a pivotal role in developing a body of research that is widely utilized today. He also invented High Speed Sintering (HSS), also...