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10 Feb 2020

World’s First Nixie Tube 3D Printed Electronics Demonstrator

Researchers at Loughborough University have completed a Collaborative (Cross-School) Project, “3D Nixie PE 2020 / Printed AC Electroluminescent (ACEL) Display” 

Nixie tube (cold cathode neon readout tube), is an electronic device for displaying numerals or other information using glow discharge. They were introduced in the 1950s.  

The team decided to fully print a “functional” aesthetic representation of the tubes using an array of contemporary techniques. Multiple printing processes (Micro-dispensing, Stereolithography, Fused-Filament, Screen printing) were utilised to fabricate the elements leading to an assembled functional demonstrator – the research aspiration is that, in the future, such a functional demonstrator (and Products) could be fabricated (and integrated) at a single sitting. The original idea was generated at the “MSc IID New Cohort Welcome + CPI Printable Electronics ID Ideas Workshop” held in the School on September 26th 2019. The demonstrator has now arrived in Germany where it will be judged and exhibited in March at LOPEC 2020 Munich as part of the OE-A (Organic and Printable Electronics Competition).   

Watch the Loughborough Team 3D Nixie Tube Fabrication Video here

Team Loughborough are: 

Dr. Darren Southee (School of Design and Creative Arts) 
PDRA Jack McGhee (Wolfson School) 
PDRA Thanos Goulas (Wolfson School) 

PhD Students:

Paulo Serobaba-Soares-Luis (Chemistry/School of Design and Creative Arts) 
Ryan Middlemiss (Chemistry/School of Design and Creative Arts) 

Loughborough became a University Member of the OE-A (Organic & Printed Electronics Association) in 2018.