AgIC’s technology uses silver nanoparticles to create homemade circuit boards.
Wired profiled the technology, noting that it :turns your home printer into a circuit board factory" through using ink made from silver nanoparticles, which only requires "sintering" – the process where metal particles are bonded at high temperatures to become conductive – when the ink is made before sale.
The technology thus allows inkjet printer users to print out a circuit board and utilize it without the need for heating the chemicals in the ink to a high temperature, with the development meaning "home printing circuit boards go from being a concept to actually being in everybody's home", according to Wired.
AgIC, the company behind the technology, are trying to raise funds via the crowd funding website Kickstarter to receive more investment for the product, and it won an award last year for a "paper describing the process". The company's founder Shinya Shimizu stated that "if a start up wants to develop hardware, it is generally more difficult to find a circuit designer than a programmer", and the company's technology allows for this to be circumvented.
Technical Adviser, Yoshihiro Kawahara, summarized the technology as "in short, a chemical reaction happens when the ink is dried on the surface of the paper. This small advance makes a huge difference as a practical tool. Backers can sit back and relax". The company says that infrastructure is the "main problem" in the way of the technology spreading, and for that reason its utilizing Kickstarter to help raise funds to improve that aspect.
AgIC also faces the issue of "convincing a public perhaps unfamiliar with circuitry" to buy into its technology but Shimizu stated his belief that by "enabling easier and faster prototyping of circuit design, more people will try it", and added that the company is currently targeting "mainly people who have experience", but would "like to expand the user segment to other spheres".
Source: New ink technology allows users to print circuit boards