Printed electronics is a set of printing methods used to create electrical devices on various substrates. Printed Electronics is a fast growing technology that has grown with an increased demand for wearable electronics. As people tend to use thinner and more lightweight products, the need for smaller and more flexible PCBs grow and printed electronics technology helps in developing such thin and lightweight products.
There are various industries that can benefit from printed electronics: consumer goods, healthcare, mobility, electronics, media and advertising to name a few. The benefits of printed electronics are numerous. They range from lower cost, improved performance, flexibility, transparency to reliability and better environmental credentials. Printed electronics can be made in roll-to-roll process; hence they can be produced in large quantity in a very less amount of time. In addition, the printing process is now well-established, time-tested, and is entirely automated. So there are minimal errors in printed technology. And since printed electronics are customizable, they can easily be tailored to any project. This customizable nature of printed electronics makes it possible to develop a product to a client’s exact specifications.
An example of printed electronics is printed heater. Printed heaters are simple warming elements that can be screen printed on flexible materials. They have many advantages over conventional heaters which are heavy to transport, take up space, and often fail because of faulty wires or coils. Flexible printed heaters can be made to specific operating parameters and can be customized according to user requirements. Thus using printed electronics, conventional heavy heaters can be replaced by simple, lightweight and flexible printed heaters.
Printed electronics is undoubtedly a fast growing industry and the future of technology for many industries; from medical to automotive to many others. Printed electronics have diverse potential applications and as the need for a low-cost environmentally friendly option is growing, by introducing flexible substrates through printed electronics, we can change the world to a much better place. It’s time we start exploring this method, as it will help in making our devices easier, comfortable and better designed than ever before.