Here's an alternate link from C2MI directly: https://www.c2mi.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/COULD-PRINTED-COPPER-BE-THE-NEW-INDUSTRY-STANDARD_2023-06-19.pdf
I'm going to scratch my grey beard and say that 10 years from now, we'll still be talking about printed copper for PCBs being the next big thing.
There is so much inertia behind the existing technologies that I cannot see how the transition will happen. There would need to be either some significant breakthrough technology advantage for printed copper or strong (global) regulation.
But, I could see it growing over the next decade in some form of niche applications, like the flexible example given in the article.
Normally, I am even more down on these academic science fair projects. But this one claims to have some industry interest. But I wonder if that is more than ETS providing some funding.
All that said, I would prefer the electronics industry move towards a more environmentally friendly method for PCB production. But I don't see that happening without a catalyst.
I read it as one opinion from one research center of one country. The prevailing technology will be the one the market chooses. Climate or any other policy initiative will need to be expressed globally to alter the profitability, to induce any change.
It is an interesting concept although the article doesn't explain what their process is, what equipment is involved and how much it costs. They also don't mention how vias are handled. It will likely be some time before the myriad of issues with the technology are overcome, but it will be interesting to see how it progresses.
The article doesn't provide enough information to make a judgment about it's utility.
No mention of copper thickness, achievable design rules, cost, etc etc.
On the evidence so far I can't see this process replacing etched copper anytime soon.
To displace the incumbent process it would need at least one really big advantage and no serious downsides.
As much as I know about conductive ink. Solid copper is way better than conductive ink in terms of conductivity and there are many enviornmental factors that questions the reliabilty and faliure rate of conductive ink in various applications. I have one of my friend who have build a conductive ink that can be screen printed to created conductive traces on any material. but the question eventualy falls to the reliabilty of the conductive ink. my friend made conductive ink using brass particle as conductive source.
It all depends upon the capability of the copper printing technology.
In theory, with most IC devices running at ever smaller voltages, a thick layer of printed copper could easily support most digital electronic implementations.
If you doubt that, just take a look inside the modern IC's, they are leading the way.
Decades ago I had planned to build PCBs using self adhesive copper foil but it too has its raft of issues and waste. The most obvious complexity are the mechanics required to create reliable plated through holes. For normal PCBs its a wet chemical process. Even for normal PCBs many manufacturers use both a electroless palladium or carbon deposition followed by electroplating. Interestingly the photos in the featured article don't seem to have any through holes.