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Silver Pen Allows For Hand-Written Circuits

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the pen-is-mighter-than-the-soldering-gun dept.

Input Devices 161

Zothecula writes "People have been using pens to jot down their thoughts for thousands of years but now engineers at the University of Illinois have developed a silver-inked rollerball pen that allows users to jot down electrical circuits and interconnects on paper, wood and other surfaces. Looking just like a regular ballpoint pen, the pen's ink consists of a solution of real silver that dries to leave electrically conductive silver pathways. These pathways maintain their conductivity through multiple bends and folds of the paper, enabling users to personally fabricate low-cost, flexible and disposable electronic devices."

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Not slashdot too! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36610974)

These things have been around for decades, fuck knows why this is suddenly news.

Re:Not slashdot too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611054)

Because, its got electrolytes.

Re:Not slashdot too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611430)

Ooh! That's what paper craves!

Re:Not slashdot too! (1)

Huckabees (1929306) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611636)

It's got what circuit boards crave!

Re:Not slashdot too! (3, Insightful)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611112)

No kidding! Heck, 25 years ago My self and a friend used a felt tip one to draw a set of lines on a wooden fence. A set of nails and alligator clip wires and a little hacker engineering and we had the neighbors phone line on the window sill. Worked ok for about 2 weeks, provided it was not raining. Then it broke down enough that it did not work.

Re:Not slashdot too! (1)

dohzer (867770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611206)

Isn't that what people used to unlock restricted multipliers on microprocessors? Or did those pens us a different conductive metal?

Re:Not slashdot too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611446)

Isn't that what people used to unlock restricted multipliers on microprocessors? Or did those pens us a different conductive metal?

In Soviet Russia, we used a pencil.

Re:Not slashdot too! (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611272)

Indeed, if you look at many old (1980) PCBs you can see how they were designed by hand. They would prototype with a pen and then use that as a template to make masks for etching. There is something quite beautiful about those hand drawn layouts, devoid of straight lines and equal spacing everywhere.

Prototyping with a resist pen (3, Informative)

drussell (132373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611310)

Prototyping wouldn't normally be done using using conductive pens. The hand drawn stuff was usually a resist pen on the actual copper-clad board, then etched.

Re:Prototyping with a resist pen (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611848)

You don't even need special resist pens. You can use ordinary indelible markers to draw on the copper and then use it as resist to etch the boards. Done it myself several times. OK if you only need one board for prototype. As far as the original article goes, silver loaded paint has been around for ages >40 years. It is called silver print. Not sure I would describe it as a way to make cheap circuits since I remember it being pretty expensive. See http://www.mouser.com/search/refine.aspx?N=4294953381&Keyword=silver%20print [mouser.com] 0.3oz is $22 for the pen-type dispenser.

Re:Prototyping with a resist pen (1)

drussell (132373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612164)

Yes, a resist pen is basically just a high quality, high-density ink Sharpie

Re:Prototyping with a resist pen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612268)

I've always just used Sharpie pens to do this. You don't need to pay extra for special pens to do this... Any permanent felt tip marker will work with the FeCl3 method of etching. I've also used laser printers to do it... To do that you just print out your schematic on a laser printer, apply the paper face down to the PC board, then iron the toner onto the board, and etch as normal.

Re:Not slashdot too! (0)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611290)

It's not news but, in slashdot, it's entertainment.

Observe how this obvious old news generate a greater response than today's average.

Re:Not slashdot too! (2)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611296)

I've been using them for almost my entire EE career. I have a small can of conductive paint as well. You can buy conductive fabric and thread too.

But it's a Ball Point (1)

xquercus (801916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611298)

In defense, this might be the first time a ball point pen has been used with conductive ink. While I've used conductive ink on boards before, they have all been felt tip pens. What benefit does a ball point have over felt tip? I have no idea.

Re:But it's a Ball Point (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611336)

What benefit does a ball point have over felt tip? I have no idea.

Doesn't dry out as quick when the cap is off. You get to use it for more than 15 minutes.

The more important reason is probably to avoid patents.

Re:But it's a Ball Point (2)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611434)

Yea, but do you know how well a ball point pen works on PCB? Pretty poorly, which is why we use felt.

I'd bet a good chunk of money this isn't even the first 'ball point pen with conductive ink', its more likely that intelligent people realized a long time ago that ball point pens work really poorly on surfaces with no texture to cause them to roll ... like say a perfectly smooth fibreglass PCB backing that you'd want to draw conductive lines on.

Re:But it's a Ball Point (4, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611534)

Which is probably why the article doesn't mention PCBs - it mentions paper, wood etc. The current felt pens work poorly on those surfaces, particularly if you flex them.

Re:But it's a Ball Point (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611370)

Maybe some people just like balls, but don't like to be felt?

Re:Not slashdot too! (1)

Pigeon451 (958201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611338)

I think the point is that these have a ball at the end, so you can make very fine circuit diagrams. Those other circuit diagram pens are more like a ink-style pen, where if you press too hard it all comes out. Plus it's hard to draw fine lines with current pens.

It's similar to the difference between a old style ink pen and a ball-point pen -- they both serve the same purpose, but the ball-point pen is much easier to use with less mess.

Re:Not slashdot too! (1)

Coisiche (2000870) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611910)

It's similar to the difference between a old style ink pen and a ball-point pen -- they both serve the same purpose, but the ball-point pen is much easier to use with less mess.

Granted, but that analogy fails a bit because hand-writing with a fountain pen is just so much more elegant than with a ball-point; well assuming that one can avoid ink blots. I don't think elegance is that important when hand laying circuit links; just don't have them too near.

Re:Not slashdot too! (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611388)

It's not "suddenly news". It's a decades-old dupe that finally cleared queue.

Re:Not slashdot too! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611410)

I too would like to know what the major innovation is? Is it just a bunch of freshman who didn't know about this before and didn't bother doing a Google search?

Re:Not slashdot too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611472)

Is it just a bunch of freshman who didn't know about this before and didn't bother doing a Google search?

Hey, if not for those we'd never have an Ask Slashdot section.

Re:Not slashdot too! (5, Informative)

Tx (96709) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611438)

The article fails to explain what's new here, a major failing since most every slashdotter will have heard of circuit repair pens. These guys apparently used silver nano-particles and hydroxyethyl cellulose [physorg.com] to create a flexible conductor, presumably much more so than the circuit repair pens that have been around forever. I must admit I've never tried using a repair pen on something flexible, but I'm guessing it dries pretty rigid.

Re:Not slashdot too! (0)

dziban303 (540095) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612482)

That's it. I've reached my limit. I am removing Slashdot from my RSS reader. It's no longer news for nerds, it's news for idiots who think they're nerds. The number of inane, boring, misleading, untrue, crazy, stupid and just plain wrong posts far, far outnumber legitimate items of interest. Buffoons post stories and another set of buffoons approve them. Goodbye, Slashdot.

Life immiates art once again. (4, Informative)

chinton (151403) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610976)

It comes in handy when your man-animal may be spying to steal your teleportation secrets...

Re:Life immiates art once again. (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611464)

I see what you did there.

Informative? (1)

drussell (132373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612094)

Who's moderating these things? :)

Not really new... (1, Insightful)

drussell (132373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610980)

This is not really new stuff... Silver pens for "circuit repair" have been available for ages... They made a ballpoint version.

Re:Not really new... (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611226)

indeed. the previous versions have all been markers afaik. I wonder how well such a thin line from a ballpoint pen works? They probably had to up the conductivity a lot since when you're drawing a 1/8" line with a marker you don't need super high grade conductivity.

But then again the ballpoint pen probably won't work on nearly as many surfaces as the old markers do.

Re:Not really new... (1)

drussell (132373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611358)

It really depends on the type of circuit you are building. Some things don't need very low resistance (ie. simple digital), others it's critical and won't work well.

Re:Not really new... (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611492)

I have one with a tip that's not much thicker than a standard ball point pen line. Thus far it's never given me a flaky connection but it's not like I'm running 50w through it or drawing traces longer than a few centimeters. I guess this is for people who like to free-hand multi-layered A4 sized PCBs...

Re:Not really new... (1)

drussell (132373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611912)

Exactly... There have been very fine point, silver conductive pens available for ages...

Re:Not really new... (1)

drussell (132373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611988)

Even if this is the first ballpoint or rollerball, these pens (some with very fine tips) have been around at least as long as when I first started using one about 25 years ago!

Everybody doing that for years... no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36610992)

It's mentioned in the manual of this silver pens sold in catalogs like radiospares.

Amazing!!!! (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610998)

They invented a product that has been available for over 20 years....

http://www.mgchemicals.com/products/pens.html [mgchemicals.com]

What's next from these ingenious companies?

Re:Amazing!!!! (5, Funny)

chinton (151403) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611024)

Next week, graphite in a wooden cylinder that can make marks on pressed and dried wood pulp.

Re:Amazing!!!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611110)

And it gets better - graphite is an electrical conductor! Now we've gone full circle.

Re:Amazing!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611874)

Full circuit?

Re:Amazing!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612220)

my thought exactly

not to mention that silver is not getting any cheaper. It won't take off I think.

Re:Amazing!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612362)

You never pencil modded your Athlon XP into Athlon MPs did ya?

You literally draw a line with a pencil across two traces on the CPU.

Re:Amazing!!!! (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611120)

Next week, graphite in a wooden cylinder that can make marks on pressed and dried wood pulp.

The Russians already invented those so that they could have a writing instrument that would work in weightless environments.

Re:Amazing!!!! (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612298)

The Russians already invented those so that they could have a writing instrument that would work in weightless environments.

Alas, too bad that story is false [snopes.com] . Both space agencies initially used pencils.

Anyhow, one of the reasons for switching is the graphite dust that pencils emit - it could be troublesome since it hangs in the air - either fouling filters or could potentially short-circuit some of the electricals. And also the broken tips that happen annoyingly often - break the tip and it could send that piece of graphite flying until it lodges itself inside some panel.

Re:Amazing!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611238)

So, when I was a kid, I colored a patch about 2 inches by 1/2-inch on a piece of paper using a #2 pencil. Then I hooked up a simple flashlight bulb, battery, and a couple wires--ran the wires along the graphite "strip" and watched the light brighten and dim. Did I invent the potentiometer as a fifth grader?

What's next? I'll tell you what's next... (4, Insightful)

h1q (2042122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611116)

What's next from these ingenious companies?

A patent of course.

Re:Amazing!!!! (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611164)

Mod parent up.

A conductive ink pen and a trace-cutter used to be standard equipment when debugging new PC boards. Today, you usually get it right the first time using CAD tools. Today's pin spacing is too close for hand drawing.

Re:Amazing!!!! (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611220)

They invented a product that has been available for over 20 years....

http://www.mgchemicals.com/products/pens.html [mgchemicals.com]

What's next from these ingenious companies?

That product in general has been around something in excess of 40 years. Mostly used to repair scratched car rear-view mirrors.

Re:Amazing!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611266)

The University of Illinois is a company?

Re:Amazing!!!! (1)

pruss (246395) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611432)

But the mgchemicals ones look felt tip, while these folks have a rollerball one. It looks like that may present particular difficulties. From the Advanced Materials article: "Central to the PoP approach is the design of a silver ink that readily flows through the rollerball pen tip during writing, does not leak from, dry out, or coagulate within the pen, and is conductive upon printing under ambient conditions. To create an ink with these attributes, we synthesized silver particles in an aqueous solution by reducing silver nitrate in the presence of a surface capping agent, poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) and diethanolamine.22–26 Using a multistep procedure, we first mixed these components to create a population of silver nanoparticles (5 nm in diameter). This particle population is then ripened by heating the solution to 65 C for 1.5 h to yield a mean diameter of 400 ± 120 nm, as shown in Figure2a. Ethanol, a poor solvent for the PAA-coated particles, is added to induce rapid coagulation and then the precipitate is centrifuged to achieve high solids loading. The silver particles are redispersed in water to remove the PAA capping agent, which is initially present at 10% by weight of silver, and again concentrated by centrifugation. This process is repeated three times, resulting in complete removal of PAA (see Supporting Information, Figure S1). Finally, hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC), a viscosifier, is added to tailor the ink rheology." So, probably a more accurate way of describing what was invented is that they made a better silver ink, and then measured its properties as relevant to circuits on flexible substrates.

Re:Amazing!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611610)

Actually, these would be more useful for circuit drawing if there were a source for empty circuit boards. You know, PCBs without the "P" part.

Re:Amazing!!!! (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612054)

It's called perfboard, you can buy it at Radio Shack ffs.

Re:Amazing!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612140)

Yeah, that pen is for writing on circuit boards. This is for writing on paper, and it's flexible.

You didn't read the article did you?

This is not new (0)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611008)

Conductive ink pens have existed for years. I remember the time where overclocking certain AMD CPU's required one to bridge two points on the back of the chip.

Re:This is not new (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611118)

You could have used a mechanical pencil for that. That is what I did.

Re:This is not new (1)

LC Trucido (1934100) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611348)

They're also hugely popular for Intel LGA775 processors.

The Russians use a pencil (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611020)

Doesn't graphite do the same thing, more or less?

Re:The Russians use a pencil (1)

drussell (132373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611042)

Pencil... Yes, that's how you scribble a resistor... Real lead pencils work even better.

Re:The Russians use a pencil (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611068)

Doesn't graphite do the same thing, more or less?

For geeks with AMD CPUs and old ATI graphics cards, a sharp pencil was almost mandatory.

Silver pens were permanent. If you fried your chip with the "pencil lead" mod, all you needed to do was grab your eraser and RMA!

Re:The Russians use a pencil (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611158)

With a tendency toward "less". Graphite is pretty conductive, fairly cheap, and has some useful mechanical properties(albeit often when mixed with other materials); but is a bit more resistive than most metals. Silver, by contrast, while more expensive, is among the most conductive materials commonly available(discounting oddities that are superconductive at atypical temperatures, or materials that have unusual properties in films a few atoms thick, and so on).

If you don't need a particularly conductive trace, a pencil will work just fine. You can even add impromptu carbon-film resistors, if you don't need high thermal dissipation or terribly precise tolerances; but if you want something as close to indistinguishable from the trace that is supposed to be there, silver is a better bet.

Re:The Russians use a pencil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612106)

In Soviet Russia Pen Draws YOU!

neat for rapid development (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611044)

This seems neat for rapid prototyping and the hobbyist, but I wonder about 2 things. What is the cost since silver isn't exactly inexpensive? Also since I am not an electronics person how does one make connections to it since I would think that solder would burn paper?

Re:neat for rapid development (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611084)

Scotch tape?

Re:neat for rapid development (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611086)

how does one make connections to it since I would think that solder would burn paper?

Just tape the components to the paper ;)

Re:neat for rapid development (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611098)

you can get conductive glue as well, but if your buying that you dont really need a pen as it comes with a brush applicator

Re:neat for rapid development (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611214)

I didn't know that. I have some things that I would like to repair that I could use that for.

Expensive metal is expensive (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611046)

Too bad the ol' Ag has gotten really expensive [yahoo.com] recently, "despite" the recession and all the all the stimulus.

Re:Expensive metal is expensive (1)

doconnor (134648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611166)

They are expensive because of the recession. It is common for people to move their money into "safer" investments like silver and gold during a recession. That leads to a precious metals bubble making these investments highly dangerous, which of course, attracts even more money.

Re:Expensive metal is expensive (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611264)

Don't ignore the effect of printing staggering quantities of money... The "value" of an ounce of gold has always been about the cost of a man's suit or a really decent new handgun, and the "value" of an ounce of silver has always been about one unskilled laborers days pay or about a weeks groceries or about one box of ammo.

Due to inflation, both long term and recently, both have skyrocketed numerically, but the value hasn't changed much.

Re:Expensive metal is expensive (1)

Marcika (1003625) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611396)

Umm... wrong. There is no way your statements can be true both today and five years ago. Ag and Au prices have changed by a factor of five, whereas suits, handguns or 8 hours of minimum wage have changed by maybe 30% one way or the other. Currently, the price of gold is about six times of what I've paid for my bespoke suit; whereas the price of silver is still nowhere near a day's minimum wage -- and it especially wasn't five or ten years ago at a price of $7/tr oz...

Shrug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611122)

MacGyver wouldn't have needed the pen. He would have made his own conductive ink from a paperclip. - www.awkwardengineer.com [awkwardengineer.com]

I am surprised (3, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611124)

They didn't claim to invent the fucking paper too

as others have pointed out this has been around for decades, and you can make your own ghetto version using copper radiator repair solution

Give them time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611276)

You know that the next thing is the paper. They just haven't got around to doing that yet.

Re:I am surprised (0)

okmen22 (2321948) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611380)

2 ! thask you ! i am viet nam diyer http://toilam.com/ [toilam.com]

New? (1)

solidraven (1633185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611148)

So they spend time making something that already exists. Go to any art store and you'll be able to buy silver ink pens. And the roller variants don't work well on PCBs actually. So you're better of with other versions. I don't get how this sort of things even make it onto news sites. This has about the same quality level as the "force field" thing some computer science students came up with last month.

Another use (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611196)

It might also be useful for repairing electrical connections for circuit traces especially on boards that flex. I would love something like this since I could fix the window control on my car since the drivers door window controls no longer control the rear passenger side window and I don't want to spend the money for a new switch unit, if I can even find one.

Sure, sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611212)

"engineers at the University of Illinois have developed a silver-inked rollerball pen that allows users to jot down electrical circuits and interconnects on paper"

As long as the "circuit" the user wants is a short!

Radio shack even has it. (1)

StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611222)

http://www.radioshack.com/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=pen%20conductive%20ink&origkw=pen+conductive+ink&sr=1

Devices more than just a circuit 'board' (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611224)

I'd like to see how they gonna secure SMDs and BGAs to silver circuits scribbled on a bar napkin. Steve Wozniak no doubt would've loved if he coulda done that.

Re:Devices more than just a circuit 'board' (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611510)

The EXACT same way you do it when your baking it onto the board? You glue it on. Of course on a normal PCB when its then baked to melt the solder, it gets a much stronger bond from the solder ... but glue is what holds the SMDs and such on until they get baked.

Re:Devices more than just a circuit 'board' (1)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611710)

I'd like to see how they gonna secure SMDs and BGAs to silver circuits scribbled on a bar napkin. Steve Wozniak no doubt would've loved if he coulda done that.

All you need to do is look at the linked article to see that they have done exactly this for paper circuits.

Conductive ink / glue (silver dust in an adhesive vehicle) is pretty standard stuff. I use it all the time in my lab to make connections that are simultaneously mechanically secure and electrically conductive.

Conductive tattoo ink (3, Interesting)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611248)

That's what I would like to see, let's have someone put that metal jewelry and ink to use, attach a battery to your nose ring, embed an LED in your face, other cool stuff.

Re:Conductive tattoo ink (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611308)

That's what I would like to see, let's have someone put that metal jewelry and ink to use, attach a battery to your nose ring, embed an LED in your face, other cool stuff.

Then there's the pr0n-industrial complex applications, that industry is always a leader in technology, at least behind the scenes. One person wears the battery, the other wears the cellphone motor, etc.

Re:Conductive tattoo ink (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611444)

"Lick/touch here to vibrate..." Dude, I like the way you think!

still no printer cartridges (1)

quitte (1098453) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611346)

wake me up when i can finally buy a cheap printer that creates circuit boards.

Re:still no printer cartridges (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611580)

wake me up when i can finally buy a cheap printer that creates circuit boards.

Nap time over! I've been doing it for nearly a decade with an old LaserJet 4. Can't get much cheaper than that.

1. Make circuit
2. Print out on thermal resist paper on LaserJet
3. Use modified laminator to bond resist to copper
4. Etch
5. Not Profit (screwed up circuit, again....)

Re:still no printer cartridges (1)

quitte (1098453) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611812)

Thanks. I'd prefer a solution that doesn't have steps 3 and 4 but I guess I could give this another try.
I tried that a while with a laserjet 1000. but i couldn't find any paper that transfered the toner reliably. now that I have a laserjet that can control the amount of toner used i may give it a try.
Could you explain to a non-native speaker what thermal resist paper is? It's not that stuff that becomes black when heated, is it?

The pen's ok... (1)

chortick (979856) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611386)

The pen's ok, and reasonably priced, but they get you on the toner cartridges...

Zuckerberg (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611490)

Maybe Zuckerberg can get a patent for "System and Method for Using a a Silver-inked Rollerball Pen in a Social Network".

Advanced Materials (1)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611590)

The Gizmodo article linked in the summary is a blurb based on some research done at the University of Illinois, and, according to that blurb, published in the journal Advanced Materials ( http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1521-4095 [wiley.com] ). Looking at the current issue of Advanced Materials, the work doesn't show up, but there are a slew of other articles that the Slashdot crowd might find very interesting.

#2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611756)

#2 pencils do the same thing.

Slashdot has reached a new low (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611926)

News from more than two decades ago.

Is there anyone left in the Slashdot team who actually has knowledge about the things they edit as news?

Re:Slashdot has reached a new low (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612184)

There's this new game console coming out, but it's from a little-known company that used to make playing cards. I wish them luck but I really don't think they'll be able to beat Atari, Intellivision and Colecovision.

what hobbyists need. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611970)

What hobbyists need is a set of stencils to put down footprints for surface mount devices.And then a way to draw traces between them. It would be sort of like drawing with resist ink except no etching. And with surface mount you don't have to worry about reversing the pinout to draw on the back side. Someone could make a dollar or two off this idea!

your mom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611994)

for those that say, we have seen this for years...

well, this story is like your mom. We have been hitting her for years and you just found out about her? ha ha ha ha ha....

Need clarification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612142)

Maybe I'm wrong but I thought the main point was that the circuit itself is on ordinary paper. So no circuit board or etch board would be needed.

Disposable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612156)

What's with that fucking "disposable" mindset? Is it only an American thing? And isn't silver rare and valuable?

I can "feel" it now... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612278)

DIY electronic toilet paper, here we come!

Radio Shack carries These! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612514)

ok, I just saw in my local Radio Shack a pen just like this! http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3964901
If this can make news, then I have a new story... Local Geek invents diode that emits light. He is calling them Light emitting Diodes or (LED's). He is willing to license this technology for a mere $5 per LED.

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