It was nearly a decade ago when the idea of producing physical objects on a desktop started to pick up steam – both for the object creators themselves and the consumers who use them. Today, it’s hit the mainstream and anybody with a fistful of cash can walk into anywhere from Best Buy to Barnes and Noble and walk out with a new 3D printer, go home, power it up, download a physical object, and print within an hour. So naturally we ask, what’s next?
With the goal of helping electrical engineers, designers, and inventors design circuit boards without ever leaving their desk, a group of nanotechnology graduates from the University of Waterloo have launched an economical custom circuit printer in the form of “Voltera”.
The result of nearly three years of heavy development (and a successful Kickstarter campaign in February of 2015), the Voltera is designed to help streamline the circuit board prototyping process and drastically reduce costs and development time – much like the original promise of FDM 3D printers once upon a time.
With a minimal desk footprint and a sturdy aluminum body, the Voltera packs a punch for its small size – especially considering that all a user needs to do is import a Gerber file into Voltera’s native software, place a blank FR4 board on the print bed, and press print.
Needless to say, the $2,199 circuit board ‘printer’ has the potential to break barriers during testing and prototyping phases, and even small production runs for a wide range of designers, engineers, and electronics-based startups.
Although the company is currently taking orders outside of their concluded Kickstarter campaign, the machines themselves will be shipped in 2016. Find out more over at Voltera.