The ability to print circuits has been a RepRap goal from nearly the beginning. In order for a printer to replicate, it needs this ability. If you dig through the forums, you’ll find plenty of people working on this problem, but none close to selling a machine that hobbyists can buy. (And please correct me if I’m wrong on that — I’d love to see more of these.) That’s what makes the EX1 on Kickstarter special. It’s more “circuit plotter” than “3d printer”; but if we ignore that, what we have is a consumer-usable device that eliminates one of the road-blocks in sharing and prototyping electronic hardware.
The results don’t compare to custom boards and pick-n-place machine quality, but that’s not the point. Much like consumer 3D printing, the EX1 allows rapid prototyping and exploration before sending a design off for professional production. Furthermore, because it’s just laying down conductive paths, you can put these on a variety of materials. This capability gives the device huge potential.
When this technology takes off, we won’t just be printing holiday ornaments for our trees — we’ll be printing the ornaments and the circuit board for the LEDs!