A NEW device called Squink is a portable circuit board factory which prints conductive traces, adhesive and places components on materials like photo paper or glass.
Pioneered by computer engineer Carlos Ospina, the Squink takes GERBER files and prints the conductive ink onto the substrate, then applies conductive glue points where the pins of the components will be placed. In the final step, the printing device picks up components from a tray, aligns, rotates and places them onto the glue dots.
The Squink will allow rapid prototyping of circuits and designs for around $2 each. It is operated through an online portal which is accessed through USB, Ethernet cable or Wifi.
The Squink team are planning to sell the printer with a cartridge of conductive ink, cylinders of the conductive glue and a standard set of components. A cartridge of conductive ink can print about 100 boards, while one cylinder of the glue is for a single use.
The project is currently on Kickstarter: the founders hope to raise US$100,000 by 21 August 2014. They have already raised nearly $40,000 as of time of writing.