Jump to content

Semiconductor Filaments?


Recommended Posts

Posted · Semiconductor Filaments?

Hi all,

I am cross-posting the following message from the Lulzbot filament forum to get experts from this Ultimaker forum also in-the-loop. Something tells me that the possibility of 3D printing semiconductors in the home/office environment is just around the corner. Let's at least share some thoughts on the matter...



I have been thinking about 3D printing semiconductors for a while now, just occasionally returning to the topic. Then i see this excellent article on the site here:


And I know that early experimenters in the field of semiconductors used copper oxide (from a wikipedia article), and basically the whole technique of aging metals is making metal rust which is all semiconductors I would guess...

So what if we could make a filament that was a semiconductor in part? Could we make diodes or transistors, even really bad ones?

This time a few minutes ago my mind ran amok with notions of printing a coil of 3mm filament mixing materials like graphene and copperFill, rusting, reprinting, rusting until the desired properties existed.

Or we have PLA with it's low Tc and our bed goes to 120C, can we melt a stick of PLA onto a rusted copperclad board? would that make a diode?

Please advise.


  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · Semiconductor Filaments?

    I don't know if all oxidized metal becomes semiconductors, but of course the MO of CMOS is metal oxide. ;)

    Modern semiconductors are now of Si, Al, Ge or Ga and doped to make certain types. As there are already various types of conducting filament, surely it should be possible to create something with semiconducting stuff, however it should also be printable. You have to know the "flow" of the electrons.

  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · Semiconductor Filaments?

    i guess to be clear, my intent is to make ANY semiconductor circuit element, however bad in performance it may be. This is why I refer to early experimentors as their crude techniques with their chosen materials are likely to work together I suppose.

    I dream of the day that we can 3D print circuit structures in all manner of shapes and sizes. I know that we can construct logic gates with resistors, diodes, and transistors. As long as the gain of the transistor is greater than the attenuation of the diodes we have sustainable logic elements, or in other words the signals do not decay as they pass from one gate to another.

    wouldn't it be cool if we could print a processor cube?


    • Like 1
    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · Semiconductor Filaments?

    It is not interesting to have semiconductors. By them selves they are just poor conductors. What you want are like p-type and n-type and be able to combine them to form diodes and transistors. Going by trying to rust old metal particles in PLA feels to me like to study black powder to invent a nuclear bomb. To be honest I think modifying your laser printer will be closer to creating IC's easier than your FDM printer.

    However when that said, I could imagine a two-step process by using a plastic extrusion print head which could extrude some semiconducting base-material and in a next process use another "print head" to do something similar to photolithography to turn parts of that layer into a certain semiconducting type.

    I know that researchers have created proto-type printers to create electronics, however they are highly specialized and with several processes, and I think it is not viable today to move those into a basic FDM printer.

  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now
    • Our picks

      • S-Line Firmware 8.3.0 was released Nov. 20th on the "Latest" firmware branch.
        (Sorry, was out of office when this released)

        This update is for...
        All UltiMaker S series  
        New features
        Temperature status. During print preparation, the temperatures of the print cores and build plate will be shown on the display. This gives a better indication of the progress and remaining wait time. Save log files in paused state. It is now possible to save the printer's log files to USB if the currently active print job is paused. Previously, the Dump logs to USB option was only enabled if the printer was in idle state. Confirm print removal via Digital Factory. If the printer is connected to the Digital Factory, it is now possible to confirm the removal of a previous print job via the Digital Factory interface. This is useful in situations where the build plate is clear, but the operator forgot to select Confirm removal on the printer’s display. Visit this page for more information about this feature.
          • Like
        • 0 replies
      • Ultimaker Cura 5.6 stable released
        Cura now supports Method series printers!
        A year after the merger of Ultimaker and MakerBotQQ, we have unlocked the ability for users of our Method series printers to slice files using UltiMaker Cura. As of this release, users can find profiles for our Method and Method XL printers, as well as material profiles for ABS-R, ABS-CF, and RapidRinse. Meaning it’s now possible to use either Cura or the existing cloud-slicing software CloudPrint when printing with these printers or materials
        • 48 replies
    • Create New...