Voxel8 Demonstrates Its Electronics-Capable 3D Printer at CES 2015

Mike Senese

Mike Senese is the Executive Editor of Make: magazine. He is also a TV host, starring in various engineering and science shows for Discovery Channel, including Punkin Chunkin, How Stuff Works, and Catch It Keep It.

An avid maker, Mike spends his spare time tinkering with remote-control aircraft, doing amateur woodworking, and attempting to cook the perfect pizza.

Follow @msenese

122 Articles

By Mike Senese

Mike Senese is the Executive Editor of Make: magazine. He is also a TV host, starring in various engineering and science shows for Discovery Channel, including Punkin Chunkin, How Stuff Works, and Catch It Keep It.

An avid maker, Mike spends his spare time tinkering with remote-control aircraft, doing amateur woodworking, and attempting to cook the perfect pizza.

Follow @msenese

122 Articles

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Voxel8’s 3D printer is a game changer. The dual-head machine outputs plastic in standard FDM style, but also has a conductive paste extruder to allow you to create built-in electronic circuitry into your design. That’s right — 3D printable electronics.

Working with Autodesk, they’ve created software that allows you to specify your desired circuit pathways, as well as the location of the electronic components needed for it. Then it does something really slick: It automatically prints the appropriately sized cavity for the components (along with conductive traces), pauses to allow you to place the components into the spaces, and then continues printing, encapsulating them into the design.

At CES2015, the team demonstrated a fleet of micro quadcopters built using this technique. They’re currently taking preorders for the $9000 machine, and aim to be shipping later this year.