Well yeah I know that much, I read the article too
But I mean I wanted to see what the device can do on its own right now. Wouldnt be much of a hassle to solder stuff to it on your own(b/c I like soldering lol) but that would indeed be really cool if it could do that on its own... Have a small Pick-n-Place arm hold the resistor there while the solder jet travels over its leads in the necessary places. Very very nice applications here.
Though I dont think it would be good to have the circuit completely enclosed in the plastic because of a couple reasons:
1) The circuits would build up more heat because there was no airflow directly to them to remove the heat, the 3D printer would have to add in copper heat pipes for the heat to rush out of there or something
2) If something goes wrong in the circuit, its not an easy to fix job anymore. You would have to remove layers of plastic just to begin testing with your DMM to see where a circuit has failed. (Simply reprinting the whole thing would be a waste of resources and with our planets resources already going "oh ****" I dont think thats a viable option
Cant really come up with any more reasons ATM but I think those 2 are well enough for not encapsulated circuitry
But still, 3D printers might never be completely automated for building robots/circuits, but they are definitely an invaluable tool to the trade.
To make it automated, you would simply just have to add in all the solder it would need into the machine, and add in the components that your circuit diagram needs and hope the machine knows which is which(with probably wouldnt be so hard since every component has Identifiers on it, Resistor color codes, capacitors with there ratings, ICs with very unique serial numbers and date codes, etc. Resistor wattage tolerances using a digital caliper and such)