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Future Links CW 5: Printed Electronics Edition

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Printed electronics and functional printing are booming. This is why our weekly future links are all about current developments in this sector. We featured a new centre for printed electronics in Durham, a new 3D-printed series of multi-layered rigid PCBs with flexible conductive connectors, lightweight flexible solar modules and a review of flexible and printed electronics in 2016.

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How Intelligent Ink and Printed Electronics Revolutionize Pharma Packaging

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There are several medications that have to be stored at a certain temperature. Otherwise they might not only become unusable but also dangerous to the patient’s health. Add this to the fact that patients are not constantly adhering to their prescriptions or forget to take their medicine and you see how important smart packaging has become for the pharma industry.

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Printed electronics and 3D printing form a powerful combination

As electronics are getting both smaller and more powerful, electronics manufacturers are searching for new ways to increase performance. One way to still push the performance forward is by improving the architecture of the electronic components by stacking multiple structural layers on top of each other. Beta Layout GmbH is using 3D printing technology to manufacture and test prototypes of innovative circuit carriers and printed circuit boards.

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Thinfilm brings printed electronics to the masses

As printed electronics become more common, the Norwegian company Thinfilm is evolving from a technology to a product company. While all of their products show potential, experts forecast the highest growth in NFC Open Sense tags. Depending on the context, the NFC tags can serve several purposes: One of the most important one is anti-counterfeit protection. When used on expensive wine bottles, the tags can indicate whether a bottle has been opened.

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New ink for full-scale printed electronics production

Many news stories about printed electronics have focused on breakthroughs in research labs. But the field is advancing from lab to fab, from research to manufacturing. DuPont Advanced Materials is launching a new electronic ink for inkjet printing under the name PE410 that offers the high conductivity and strong adhesion required for rapid digital design, prototyping and full-scale manufacturing.

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Where printed electronics meet the world of fashion

A lot has been written about functional clothing with integrated printed electronics yet not too many shorts or shirts with sensors have appeared on the shelves of sporting goods stores. The Canadian-based AIA Labs/Myant is trying to change that. The company puts electronics and textile design, development and production under one roof, thus ensuring that all parts of the process are working together toward the desired solution.

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Printed electronics keep shirts cool – literally

Cranking up the heat or the air conditioner have been common responses to changes in temperature for decades. But what if the microclimate could be controlled at the individual level? What if clothing had the capacity to become automatically thinner or thicker if the surroundings heated up or cooled down? Researchers at UC San Diego are exploring how printed electronics could help achieve this.

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