Prototyping a new device without a factory at your disposal is as time consuming as it is expensive. Unless the crowd-funded Squink printer manages to become a reality. It lets hobbyists and aspiring Wozniaks print their own functional circuit boards using conductive ink and glue, for almost immediate turnarounds when they make revisions to a design.
The Squink goes one step further than just printing out the intricate designs that connect all of the electronic components on a circuit board together, it will then actually pick and place those components onto the board, as specified in a design you mockup on a computer. So short of connecting a power cable or other I/O hardware, your printed circuit board is ready for testing as soon as it has cured.
At the moment the Squink is just shy of being halfway to its $US100,000 funding goal on Kickstarter, but there’s about a month left to make a donation if you really want to see this thing come to market. However, you’ll need to pledge just shy of $US3,000 to reserve one of the earlier units that is expected to ship as soon as April 2015. So the Squink might be priced just out of reach for hobbyists, but for anyone seriously developing a device they intend to sell, being able to churn out a revised circuit board in just half an hour might make a lot of financial sense in the long run. [Kickstarter – Squink via TechCrunch]