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Holiday gifts engineers secretly want

10 Dec 2015  | Cabe Atwell

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3D printer

3D printer

(Source: Voxel8)

It is $8,999, but it 3D-prints conductive traces, man. You can 3D print models with circuitry embedded within. Imagine it. You need a hardware and electronics for an electric motor system that goes inside model aircraft. Well now the same mechanical structure that holds the motor, the battery packs and the controlling electronics also serves as the wiring harness between all these parts. You could abolish the ribbon cables between boards. The standoffs holding them apart are your new ribbon cables. A bezel for a display will contain its wiring back to the motherboard. A creative case modder might be able to print parts that mechanically fasten and electrically connect all the parts of their PC. I can imagine it now. One guy is like, my case has LED lights and a cup holder. The guy with a Voxel8 is like... yeah, that's cool, I got all that too... except with no wires.

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