Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Circuit Sandwiches

Laminated Litho-Tronics
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This is actually a follow-up concept (rhetorical backslap :p ) to certain unimaginative utterings directed against my brilliant and eco-friendly "Paper or Plastic" Satellites idea. ;)

And why not use components that decay over time, (say 10 years or so? See how often you have to upgrade your computer?)

Diagrams and schematics can be printed out on paper, right? Print out the circuit itself! 3D printers are capable of creating accurate solid models thru layering with photopolymer solutions, and can 'wick in' a variety of metals for added strength; think ink-jet adaptation!

Yeah, it may be cheesy, but it's still feasi-; let's see if I can't earn more fishbones for my defensible position.

Macdaddyx1, Feb 21 2008

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       Well, most things that "decay over time" suffer something like a logarithmic decline - think radioisotopes with half-lives. even if it's not truly logarithmic, it'll at least follow a bell-curve <normal distribution> and have a similar effect.   

       So-oooo, if the components in your computer have a half-life of 10 years, and you have 1 million individual components, each of which is critical for the function of your system - expect it to last maybe an hour or so.
Custardguts, Feb 21 2008

       Well CG, I can't be that far off. NASA still uses recycled f o a m decade after decade with their shuttles. Maybe you know, what's the half-life on a piece of papyrus?
Macdaddyx1, Feb 21 2008

       ... I was just responding to the //components that decay over time, (say 10 years or so? // part.   

       If they use stuff decade after decade, where does the "decays over 10 years" part come in>?
Custardguts, Feb 21 2008

       The originating idea was about permanent sky fixtures that won't cost $60M dollars for a quick fix... ...you've gotta go back to "Paper or Plastic" Satellites; eh, maybe not, you'll just probably give me another fish.
Macdaddyx1, Feb 21 2008

       You will find that I have never, not even once, given you a fish.
Custardguts, Feb 21 2008

       What's the idea? That printed circuits should be printed? Newsflash; they already are.
angel, Feb 21 2008

       I thought this would be an idea to 'print' multi-layered sandwiches using the techniques currently used for circuit printing like photolithography or techniques used for semiconductor materials manufacture, such as molecular beam epitaxy ("I'll just lay down a 0.5mm layer of Dijon mustard and then the 1mm sputtered layer of duck pate...").
hippo, Feb 21 2008

       There's a reason that PCBs and circuits are made on the substrates they are printed on - durability and feasibility. The grain of paper, coupled with its well, just bad-for-circuitry nature would mean instant failure for such a process.
Wire wound resistors can reach in excess of 500 deg (f) alone, and if you've done your science fiction reading, you'll know that's a rather bad temp for having near paper.
Additionally, you'll see, if you look at it, that the circuit industry is constantly adapting new technology (substrate copper elimination, copper deposition, and now lead free ROHS) to make things last LONGER and have less environmental impact.
Don't get me started on the idea of "wicking" metals. The capillary action involved in such a process versus the actual final size of wires in real circuitry... the problem that it isn't just "metal", but precise layers of different types of metal and *other* elements, like, oh, silicon.... oh dear. no, it is not "feasi-;" at all. sorry.
Why would you want things to break after 10 years or so anyway? Computers don't "break" after 10 years, they're replaced by people suckered into the "newer is better" phenomenon.
Oh, and the 3d printers for printing solid models are nowhere near accurate and repeatable enough to create circuitry.
ericscottf, Feb 21 2008

       Geez! You guys are murder..!   

       Angel: Duh! Photolithography has been used for years in manufacturing circuit boards. Eliminate the substrate and print textured circuits on film. You could roll'em up like Fruit Roll-Ups, stuff'em in a tube and watercool'em for all I care!   

       Hippo: .. Cost effective, no maintenance, no fuss satellites, fully consumable products.   

       Ian T: I seriously thought everyone would recognize the quoted phrase: Paper or Plastic. That's a customary query that is asked at a store checkout line so as not to offend people who are conscious of recycling issues.   

       But now since we're 'all fell out da box', iron pyrite solution might do well replacing real gold, (hey, it's conductive and is a paper element) Mylar for signal transmission is a currently used plastic, and if they aren't using fiber optics now they should be.. Fuel tanks. Replace metal tanks with weaved nylon and polymer resin tubes. Or just go all out Solar, and use microwaves to convert a 10 year supply of natural coal into dilthium energy.   

       But as always, this idea is merely HalfBaked! Now, where's my fish?!
Macdaddyx1, Feb 21 2008

       EricScottF: really appreciating your qualified input!   

       Seein as this was initially a narrative parody in opposition to 'impossibility' a word not in my vocabulary, I feel compelled to ask why laying circuits with this imaginative process would require excessive heat? I figured the patterns would be created with a conductive, metal (Au, Mo, porphyry copper) infused poly vinyl pyrrolidone based ink?   

       {sorry, don't have my Wiki right in front of me; gotta go with what I can remember page to page}
Macdaddyx1, Feb 21 2008

       I've heard the "paper or plastic" phrase in American supermarkets, but not lately--everybody uses plastic bags now, or sells re-usable bags made of recycled materials.   

       Which brings up the concept that this idea interferes with: recycling. Most earth-bound electronics can be recycled, or built to be friendlier to recycling. Building them to decay doesn't work with that.   

       Otherwise: Manufacturers want to save costs, both in materials and production, and they want to sell new products. If they could be printing with rust onto toilet paper and getting a reliable planned obsolescence, they'd be doing it. I know I've bought some shite products.   

       In space, on the other hand, reliability is important. Replacement and repair are incredibly expensive, mostly through transport costs. Disposal of an out-dated satellite isn't a problem, really, what with parking orbits and re-entry, but a broken-down satellite is a major pain.
baconbrain, Feb 21 2008

       As someone once said,   

       "Where is the milk of human kindness my lord?"   

       and the reply was,   

       "It's gone off, It stinks."
Thomasunde, Feb 21 2008

       like cheese & crackers?
Macdaddyx1, Feb 21 2008

       I didn't say that using this imaginary method would require excessive heat - i said that your substrate (paper - really, this is a joke, right?) would not hold up to the heat generated by standard electronic equipment such as wire wound resistors (the boxy white things that get HOT) which are in plenty of power supplies.
Not to mention heat sinks, which can be heavy and require stable mounting, and the fact that you can crack traces on regular circuit boards - imagine how much more cracking would happen if the boards were now of newspaper-like rigidity!
ericscottf, Feb 21 2008

       //Angel: Duh! Photolithography has been used for years in manufacturing circuit boards.//

Yes, that's what I said; given that you know this, what have you invented?

// Eliminate the substrate and print textured circuits on film.//

The film then becomes the substrate; you're just using a different one.

//You could roll'em up like Fruit Roll-Ups//

Flexible printed circuit elements have been around for a very long time. Again I ask; what have you invented?
angel, Feb 22 2008

       Have a look inside a PC keyboard, for example.
david_scothern, Feb 23 2008


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