We’ve featured a handful of 3D printers that can lay out conductive tracks on a variety of materials. But that’s just part of the process of making a circuit board; you’ll still need to place a variety of small parts on the board. Large-scale manufacturers have pick-and-place machines to do that for them. If BotFactory succeeds, soon you can have your own pick-and-place machine as well.
BotFactory is working on Squink, a machine that both prints conductive tracks and installs electronic components. After a user uploads his circuit board design to a complementary program, Squink will print tracks using silver-based conductive ink, place conductive glue on the spots where components need to be placed and then install the needed parts on the board. Speaking of boards, BotFactory says Squink can use a variety of materials as substrates.
Squink won’t turn you into a one-man factory, but it should make prototyping faster and more affordable. Pledge at least $2,999 (USD) on Kickstarter to get a Squink as a reward.