Friday, January 12, 2007



I just stumbled upon a product called CuPro-Cote. It appears to be a copper-based conductive paint. I've ordered a 4oz can for about $35. Seems to be a lot cheaper than silver-filled paint. If I calculated correctly, 4 oz should, in theory, provide 7000 square inches of 1 mil traces. That's about 200 6x6 circuit boards with 100% coverage.

When I get the stuff, I'll try it out on various surfaces. Curious to see what materials is adheres to. I'll also try it with solder, on the off chance that it actually takes a solder bead. I've also got some Cerrobend sitting around. I'll see how the two interact. I'm also interested in what the practical limits are on trace width.

Any other suggestions, thoughts?

That looks to be a real find there Steve!

I called the guy at the site and queried him about whether this stuff could take current. He says that it is as good as the silver conductive paint which can be used to patch PCB's but that it doesn't have the same ability to resist abrasion. If you have your circuitry where it can't be abraded, however, it should work just fine.

Now I've just got to figure out how to convert their sheet resistivity measure (ohms per square) to something that will let me figure out how wide a trace I have to paint to handle a given current.

Oh well, that sort of thing is fun. :-)
Good point. I'll try some high-current tests too.
I had been thinking about how spools of solder would work for printing the circuits into fabricated channels, with a seperate extruder for it of course. This stuff sounds like it would have a lower resistance and could just be pumped into those channels, then possibly have another layer of polymer over it with holes for the chips and such. Perhaps even have a way to insert the components before the paint dries, so the boards wouldn't require any soldering.
Funny thing is, I found this stuff because of a post on Lifehacker about "liquid stainless steel", which appears to be a stainless steel filled paint. Also conductive.
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