Direct write in the past has generated the excitement of possibly replacing photoresist for all electronic applications. Removing the mask would substantially reduce the number of steps required to produce electronic circuits. A reduction in steps represented time and dollar savings. The advantage of being able to direct write a manufacturable device would also save time and money in the design process as well. With all of the obvious advantages, it seemed inevitable that research dollars would continue to mount and thus overcome the obstacles preventing this technology from becoming more than a novel technique used in laboratories. As Moore's law began to settle in, so did photoresist and direct write was little more than a novelty.
That was then, and this is now. Developers have come to terms with the true value direct write can supply to the manufacturers and design engineers. Techniques such as Focused Ion Beam (FIB), Laser Chemical Vapor Deposition (LCVD), ink jetting and ink penning have found real applications that are making a difference in industry. A summary will be presented describing the various direct write techniques, their current applications and the possible or probable applications.