3D printing technology has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years, and a new video from Disney’s research department showcases another exciting element of that growth: 3D printing interactive electronics. This step forward is a culmination of many other smaller improvements in 3D printing that have allowed manufacturers and researchers to use new materials that were previously thought impossible to 3D print. Sensors and transparent plastics are used to create these 3D printed displays, as showcased in the video by an electronic chess set and a 3D printed toy.
While the simple electronics may not seem so impressive compared to many of today’s products, the exciting element of this progression in 3D printing is the revolutionary way these things are manufactured. The cheap, simple process of 3D printing saves money for the producer and the consumer by eliminating multi-stage assemblies and inefficient production processes. This technology could open up whole new doors for more affordable and energy efficient processes across a nearly limitless variety of products.
“We envision a future world where interactive devices can be printed rather than assembled; a world where a device with active components is created as a single object, rather than a case enclosing circuit boards and individually assembled parts”
- Disney Research Hub