SALE EXTENDED! 15% off! Use the code BLACKFRIDAY15 on checkout *some restrictions apply.

February 23, 2011 AT 1:44 pm

Look, Dad—They print wires now!

Pt 10814

Scientific American. Issue: Dec, 1954

Very thin copper—called “Electro-Sheet”—is bonded to a plastic laminate panel. On this copper sheet you print the wiring circuit you want with an ink that resists acid. Then you etch away the unwanted metal, leaving the pattern intact. This type of circuit is far superior to wires. It is accurate, compact and stable. Next you snap-fasten tube sockets and other parts in place and dip-solder the connections. To make a hundred electrical connections this way takes only a few seconds.

With printed wiring and other devices—such as transistors—electronic experts are concocting match-box-size hearing aids, vest pocket radios, more compact TV sets and portable electronic “brains.” They are speeding up the production of precision instruments vital in the operation of aircraft and control of guided missiles.

Check out all the Circuit Playground Episodes! Our new kid’s show and subscribe!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Learn resistor values with Mho’s Resistance or get the best electronics calculator for engineers “Circuit Playground”Adafruit’s Apps!

Maker Business — “Finally — some data on whether crowdfunding is a good investment or not”

Wearables — Sample code is your new best friend

Electronics — Meaningful gains

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !


  1. Vest pocket radios!

  2. even cooler – Sargrove’s ECME stuff….

    of course we didn’t give him credit either.

    Sargrove was way ahead of his time “growing” curcuits…
    I worked as a research assistant right before Katrina in New Orleans with Self Assembled Nanowires… super atomic scale platinum – insanely low power consumption, nil resistance, crazy fast electron flow! A 9v might last until it naturally degrades!

    I love these articles! And I still do wire wrap – it’s like knitting to me.

  3. These sorts of modern marvels are all very well and good for the scientists and engineers working in their labs, but when will we the common folk get to enjoy the fruits of these futuristic discoveries?

    I want my portable electronic brain and compact TV set today, gosh darn it!


  4. OMG! This is going to change everything!

    Oh wait, it already did :)

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.