NOW YOU CAN experiment with “printed” circuits. A kit containing air-drying conducting and resistance paints is available to the student and experimenter for the construction of miniature radio and electronic circuits. The process consists of determining on paper the size of the painted components and their most compact arrangement, transferring the layout to a suitable base of sheet polystyrene or fiberboard, as shown in photo A, and then drawing the lines and areas of silver or copper paint which act as wires and condensers. Connected areas of carbon and graphite paint serve as resistors.

Photo C shows the “Microcircuits” kit and a small model of a two-tube pocket receiver that appeared in a student construction article in Popular Mechanics Magazine some time ago. The components, such as the variable tuning-condenser, audio transformer, batteries and other parts that cannot be painted, are fastened to the case in the conventional manner. The polystyrene base shown in photos C and E is only 1-1/2 by 3-1/2 in. and was fitted into the end of the case enclosing the set. Hearing aids and similar small units can be constructed. A manual of tables comes with the kit so that the user can easily determine the length, width and area of resistors to obtain the proper resistance and wattage values. There are also tables for fixed condensers and inductances. Photo D shows a two-stage amplifier painted on the glass envelope of a twin-triode miniature tube.

  1. jayessell says: July 16, 20074:16 pm

    Photo D looks like a retro integrated circuit!

    The components are glued to the tube and wired with conductive paint?
    To us in the 21st century, that still seems cool.

    Early surface mount technology!
    The resistors are paint!

    Today… the paths are printed with laserprinters and the toner transferred to the copper side of blank printed circuit boards before etching.

    Has anyone investigated CNC milling of circuit boards?
    No etchant would be required!

    (Not sure how a tool could be fine enough and strong enough. Laser? Plasma? Really tiny steel bit and lots of time?)

  2. sofiaa says: November 25, 200710:45 pm

    […]Excellent writeup – I’ll have to try this next time I need to make a run of boards, even though etching it myself is more
    then sufficient right now.…

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