Manufacturing personal electronics with 3D printing

In 2025, consumer electronics will no longer be the same as we know them today, said Peter Krige who is currently studying Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London. Together with Alexander du Preez and Hannes Harms, the team has developed a conceptual ecosystem for electronics called O.update. O.update uses printable electronics and rapid manufacturing processes to get electronics new capabilities that allows consumers to make their own electronic goods.

In the future, consumers will select their own electronic products online. They can browse through an online database of electronic products and customise the objects they wish to have. The database can then link them to their local At a local O. store, technicians could assist them in manufacturing their unique products using 3D printing, laser cutting and acid etching etc. In this way, objects are only manufactured on demand – this system could localise electronics manufacturing and reduce electronic waste.

O.Products can constantly evolve through update cards. While an update is available a new printed electronic card is sent to the customers and the old electronic cards are sent back for re-manufacture or recycling.

In the pictures above, the speaker system prototype was made using selective laser sintering in nylon. The circuit cards were inkjet-printed and then used copper plating process to add electric sensitivity.

Alexander du Preez, Peter Krige and Hannes Harms know what the consumer electronics industry will be like in 2025, we will be “living in a transparent system where our products are created on demand. They are no longer mass manufactured any more, but locally and uniquely tailored to individual people.”

(Images credit: Peter Krige)

Source: Peter Krige

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