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Integrating Electronics Onto Physical Prototypes

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A CurveBoard on a mannequin's head.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have integrated three-dimensionally-printed platforms used for electronics prototyping onto physical products.

Credit: Dishita Turakhia and Junyi Zhu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers directly integrated three-dimensionally (3D)-printed platforms used for electronics prototyping, or breadboards, onto physical products.

Custom editing software is used to design such “CurveBoards,” which incorporate distributed pinholes that can be filled with conductive silicone to test electronics, while preserving an object's look and feel. The software automatically maps all pinholes uniformly, then users select automatic or manual layouts for connectivity channels, with the final design exported to a file for 3D printing.

The researchers printed CurveBoards for smart bracelets and watches, Frisbees, helmets, headphones, a teapot, and a wearable e-reader. MIT's Junyi Zhu said, "This is for when you have an idea of the final object and want to see, say, how people interact with the product."

From MIT News 
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