If you have some experience with building Circuit boards you will know that it’s a very time consuming and high precision work. One small mistake can lead to failed or non-working prototype. While most of the Circuit building is usually outsourced to overcome the troubles of getting the hands dirty or lack of knowledge to build one, this increases the lead time required for prototyping as most of the work is outsourced to China for its cheap labor cost. In today’s fast paced – highly competitive market situation any delay can be lethally fatal for your Business / Product. If we told you that you can get a 3d printed Circuit board with a click of a few buttons and cut the time taken for prototyping down from a few weeks to a few hours – wouldn’t you jump on that Idea? That’s exactly what is happening at the Kickstarter campaign for a Circuit Board 3d printer called Voltera V-One.
Voltera V-One 3d printer is designed and engineered to make 3d printed circuit boards a reality. The printer uses the industry standard Gerber files for input commands and the circuits is printed on a Flame retardant FR-4 board. All this can happen while you are busy drinking coffee in your favorite cup at your office desk or at home. The printer lays down a conductive ink to create the traces and an insulating ink to protect the conductive ink from spreading the electricity to unwanted parts on the board.
The printer also has a solder paste dispenser that can reflow. In Simple words if you have to add any chip to the circuit board after it’s printed all you need to place it at the correct place and apply some heat. The Solder paste will melt and create a solid bond between the chip and circuit board. With this, gone would be the days where you burn your hands accidentally because you touched the hot soldering gun. It also saves you from the toxic fumes which are emitted while using the soldering gun.
Voltera V-One is developed with the joint efforts of four engineering students from the University of Waterlooin Canada. Alroy Almeida, Katarina Ilic, James Pickard and Jesus Zozaya. Alroy Almeida one of the co developers of Voltera V-One 3d printer was quoted saying “We’re all part of the ‘Now Generation’,” The Idea is to down the lead time and make prototyping of circuit boards as easy as ordering your favorite Chinese fast food. The developers have also pointed out that this printer is strictly for prototyping purposes, so don't expect the printer to have a mass manufacturing capability. Never the less according to me it’s an amazing concept and would love to get my hands on when it is officially released.
If you back the Voltera V-One 3d printer, you will get a cartridge of conductive ink, insulating ink, solder paste, solder wire, blank boards in a few sizes, a sample pack of template boards, as well as cables and tools to get started. The whole package will set you back by $1,499. With this money you will book a printer to be delivered by January 2016. The 1st batch and the First in the lot are already sold out on the Kickstarter campaign so Hurry up.