We have 3D printers for allowing us to prototype designs quick and easy and we also have Shapeways that allows us to produce these designs in more of a mass scale and sell them to the world. For electronics we also have Arduinos and Raspberry Pi which allows us to create various electrical prototypes but to then produce it is some scale it becomes much more complex. Is this something that can change? I may be a little naive of the complexities of electronics but there seems to be huge difference between the ease of creating prototype circuits with an Arduino to then designing a printed circuit board.

There have been some advances such as the Kickstarter project The EX1 which can 3D print circuit boards. It is a stand a lone 3D printer costing around £2000 which will vastly improve electronic prototyping abilities. It lets you print circuit boards onto paper or any suitable surface. 3D printed circuit boards

Another development is Carbomorph which is a low cost 3D printable conductive and piezoresistive material. What is allows is to embed sensors and electronics inside of 3D objects in a single build.   The group posted their project onto PLOS one  showing how they managed to print a motion sensing glove in a single unbroken run.


When this technology becomes mainstream and available on sites such as Shapeways then prototyping and creating not just designs but functional products become more accessible and easier to do. You could design a functional consumer electronic product upload it and sell it to the world.