Hacked Gadgets Forum

April 20, 2007

Modified Ink Printer Prints Electronic Circuits

at 5:19 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Crazy Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Don’t throw away your old HP ink-jet printer, Seyed Bidoki has developed a way to print electronic circuits with it.

“A desktop printer loaded with a silver salt solution and vitamin C has been used to produce electronic circuits. The UK researchers behind the feat say their experimental device could pave the way for safer and cheaper electronics manufacturing. PhD student Seyed Bidoki loaded a standard Hewlett Packard ink-jet printer with a solution of metal salts and water. After a pattern is printed using the solution, a chemical known as a reducing agent is then printed over the top to make solid silver form.”


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17 Responses to “Modified Ink Printer Prints Electronic Circuits”

  1. dan Says:

    DAMN!! I WAS JUST BUILDING ONE OF THOSE!!! GARRR. you stole my idea. but anyways, awsome. i was going to add copper powder or other conducting metalic powder into ink, so the paper was applied to a hard plasic base, printed, then a cnc like drill would drill the holes for the components. but good job!

  2. Hexypoo Says:


  3. NGinuity Says:

    It seems a lot better than taking a blank and etching away copper from it. That has always seems very….wasteful to say the least.

  4. MAKE: Blog Says:

    Modified ink printer churns out electronic circuits

    I’ve got to try this – A desktop printer loaded with a silver salt solution and vitamin C has been used to produce electronic circuits. The UK researchers behind the feat say their experimental device could pave the way…

  5. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hey Dan,

    When your machine is done I would love to read more about it. 🙂

  6. Clark Hummell Says:

    This is crazy cool! I could so use one of these! Tutorial? Anyone?

  7. Paul Says:

    Hope it doesn’t cost to much

  8. BronzeG3 Says:

    I’ll stick with my laser printer and etching. I would think getting really small traces down correctly would be difficult since it is an ink jet.

  9. remora Says:

    Aweful demanding broneG3 they just came up with an inkjet and you already want a laserprinter version. ^^

  10. Suntan Says:

    Anyone knows about PIC Led controller? I am looking for something like


    in a affordable price

  11. Feral Gifter » Print Electronic Circuits with HP Printer Says:

    […] [Link][via] […]

  12. Aeomer Says:

    Inkjet resolution is actually better than any laser printer. Most HPs these days do 1200×4800 dpi. Laser printers come out at about 300dpi unless you want to spend a lot of money.

    The question is how much does the solution ‘spread’ when sprayed – does the solution it keep a very high resolution. The laser printer + etching should expect a resolution of around 295dpi (300 minus the spread of melting balls of toner) down to 230 dpi depending on the absorbtion on ink into the receiving medium. As for the inkjet, it’s all going to depend on the absorbtion of the sprayed medium.

  13. Rick Winscot Says:

    In looking at the scale on those samples – I would have to say that the question really should be “do you have a steady hand?” Any smaller and you are going to need to move to automated assembly! For the DIY crowd working on miniaturization – this sounds like a very promising ( and less messy ) alternative.

  14. puttputt Says:

    Can you make a circuit print an inkjet?

  15. qwertos Says:

    the only thing that i would be iffy about is the fact that paper burns when you try to solder something to it

  16. arlynbabes Says:

    We know that there are many things right now that we could be recycle. It is nice to know that even an old HP ink jet printer can be used to print an electronic circuits. Thank you with Seyed Bidoki for experimenting this one.


    Don’t waste money on Printer Ink. Save up to 65% on toner cartridges, ink cartridges and printer supplies. http://www.concordsupplies.com

  17. Brian Says:

    Hey, please forgive me for going slightly off-topic, but would you guys know anything about converting an inkjet printer so that it could be mounted on top of, say, a large sheet of paper and made mobile so that it could be moved around on that paper and print on it directly (without having the paper go through printer’s roller assembly)I’m thinking of it like a large stamp-like device.

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