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Functionalize Shows You How to 3D Print Your Own Arduino Compatible WiFi-Connected Touchscreen Device

by • February 17, 2016 • No Comments

3dp_functionalize_logoThe endgame for 3D printing has always been the capacity to 3D print conclude objects regardless of their complicatedity. Whilst there are may aleager expensive, industrial 3D printing devices equipped with high-end robotic systems than can pick and place parts and instantly assemble a few effortless components, the capacity to 3D print assembled, functional electronics and circuit boards is yet a fewwhat elusive. The industry is certainly trying, and it has created sat any timeal exotic materials that can be utilized to 3D print circuit boards, as well as 3D printing devices that print with multiple or composite materials that can fabricate complicated structures. There are sat any timeal companies that are createing new conductive materials that are delivering us nearer than at any time.

Functionalize F-Electric conductive 3D printing filament.

Functionalize F-Electric conductive 3D printing filament.

Functionalize was one of the initially companies to create a highly conductive 3D printing filament that they call F-Electric that can be utilized to 3D print circuits, buttons and power connectors. It is in addition conductive adequate to 3D print a working flashlight with power connectors and a battery pack right within a plastic print. The material can work on just of any standard computer 3D printing device regardless of nozzle dimensions. F-Electric was originally launched on Kickbeginer way back in 2014, howat any time it was unable to secure the funding that Functionalize founder Michael Toutonghi was looking for. The idea for a conductive filament was truly ahead of its time, but it didn’t take long for at any timeyone to catch up and Toutonghi to get his Washington-based company off the ground.

Functionalize has may aleager showed off a wide range of uses for their F-Electric filament, that include a working LED mini-flashlight kit and a light-up Christmas-themed spaceship ornament. They’ve in addition utilized their F-Electric to assist 3D print functional lamps, breadboards and in fact drones, that are all featured on the Functionalize Blog. And they have just posted their many complicated and awe-inspiring 3D printing project yet, a working Arduino compatible, WiFi-connected 320×240 color touch screen device with 3D printed circuits. The device can be utilized for almany anything, that include to automatize
home functions, a drone or robot controller, as the brains of a WiFi-enabled device or a sensor display for the Internet of Things.

An Arduino compatible, WiFi-connected color touch screen device created with 3D printed circuits.

An Arduino compatible, WiFi-connected color touch screen device created with 3D printed circuits.

In comparison to producing your own touch screen device via traditional materials, the 3D printed model appears awe-inspiringly effortless. But don’t let it fool you, despite the ease of 3D printing working circuit boards, this is not a project for beginners. Howat any time the Functionalize team has that include an incredibly detailed set of step by step create instructions that are certainly effortless to follow. Once the 3D printed components are conclude the total assembly time should be of an hour, and the project required no wires and no soldering of any kind. The device just requires of twenty dollars in materials and of six grams of F-Electric conductive filament.

The 3D printed curcuit board preceding conductive paint.

The 3D printed curcuit board preceding conductive paint.

“When we initially createed F-Electric, we wanted to get the breakthrough into your hands rapidly, and enable you to begin producing awe-inspiring things. As we’ve learned through your projects and inquiries, any new material, while allowing new ways or things to manufacture, in addition brings with it a new learning curve, especially when dealing with a sizeable variety of 3D printing devices and ideas. We hope this guide can provide you with tools to 3D print the electronics you imagine via F-Electric,” wrote the Functionalize team on their blog post.

Among the tiny list of parts that are needed for the project is a NodeMCU board V1, a 2.4 inch TFT Touchscreen Module and a tiny amount of silver conductive paint. Whilst the Functionalize team says that copper conductive paint may work, it is not as conductive as the silver paint and anyone looking to manufacture their own device should remain away of carbon paints.

“This project in fact begined as an internal effort to improve our production through automation. Recently, we decided to create a few factory control equipment, and idea ‘what a excellent opportunity to put F-Electric to the test and perhaps manufacture an example in the process’. I begined working on this create a little over a week ago, and am now eager to share the initially rev of a component we can use along with what new things I’ve learned of 3D printing circuits with F-Electric. I hope you can find this write-up assistful,” the Functionalize team continued.

The 3D printed circuit boards after conductive paint is applied.

The 3D printed circuit boards after conductive paint is applied.

There are two various STL options of the 3D printable circuit boards depending on the types of 3D printing that can be utilized to 3D print the parts. The initially STL file was optimized for a single head 3D printing device[link opens download] that can pause the printing device to allow a swift alter of the insulator filament to the conductive filament. The 2nd STL file was optimized for dual head 3D printing devices and for slicers that can allow users to assemble multiple STL files into one printable part.

Here is a video demonstration of 3D printing with conduction filament via a single head printing device:

I highly recommend that anyone trying this project have at very least a passing familiarity with programming Arduino devices. And don’t worry, you won’t have to hunt drivers or anything down, as the Functionalize team included a full list of downloads on their guide. They in addition included a bunch of 3D printing, assembly and finishing tips and tricks in case anyone createing their own touch screen device runs into any problems. This project is perfect for anyone looking to create a homebrewed connected home or sensor network or for educational purposes in a school setting. You can read the entire guide over on the Functionalize blog here. And you can learn additional of the Functionalize F-Electric conductive 3D printing filament and purchase a spool here. Discuss in the 3D Printed Arduino Device forum over at 3DPB.com.3dp_functionalize_touch screen_assembled