Conductive Tracks and Passive Electronics
Imagine a world without electronics. It is difficult. Few technologies in human history can rival the impact that electronics have had, or the degree to which they have been integrated into our daily lives. Digital fabrication has developed with the importance of electronics in clear view; within this focus, both active and passive electronics development has created a rich and fascinating body of technology.
The term passive electronics includes any element that is useful for the management of electrons but does not produce gain. A conductive track is the simplest example, managing electrons only by defining their path. To date, the vast majority of research, production, sales, and use of digitally printed passive electronics have been focused on conductive tracks. The rest of this chapter will reflect this and discuss conductive tracks as the model passive electronic system. Other passive devices will be detailed only in their specific subsections.
To date, two distinct visions for the development of digitally printable passive electronics have emerged. Industrial manufacturers are already applying the technology. Applications are currently quite limited, but many forward-thinking electronics manufacturers are squarely focused on the development of digital, or at least additive, processes for their flexibility, cost saving, and environmental benefits. This is an ...