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Thoughts on Voltera?

Ian

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Aug 23, 2006
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I've obviously been looking at too many CNC machine videos, as now when I visit YouTube I get lots of ads for a PCB printer called Voltera. I generally skip past ads quite quickly, but this one caught my eye - as it looks like an interesting way to prototype PCBs.

Here's a link to the site, which has a video on how it works: http://www.voltera.io

I'm a sucker for gadgets, so I like the "idea" of how this works - but it seems pretty expensive for what it does. Especially given how cheap PCB manufacture can sometimes be (although not anywhere near as instant). I imagine it may appeal to industry at this price though.

Have any of you tried something like this? I'm not considering getting one, but I thought it was neat :).

I've been considering making a very cheap and small CNC router to make single layer PCBs from copper faced board, as that should be do-able for ~£150 :D.
 

Harald Kapp

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I imagine it may appeal to industry at this price though.
Some boards do use more than 2 layers, though.
I've been considering making a very cheap and small CNC router to make single layer PCBs from copper faced board, as that should be do-able
Not only doable, it's commercially available. The issue with these methods is that you have no trough hole plating with copper. You need to solder bot sides of a through hole component and you need to use short strands of wire to make vias. I think that's perfectly o.k. for a one of a kind board for a hobbyist, but not for commercial purposes.
 
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BobK

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I have been looking at this. It sounds pretty good to me. There are so many boards I haven't made because it is just too much effort, and I have never achieved better than about 75% success rate with any of the methods I have used The thought of having one tool that makes the board and does the reflow soldering is quite appealing. If it were half the price ($2000) I might have already bought it.

Bob
 
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Ian

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Some boards do use more than 2 layers, though.
Not only doable, it's commercially available. The issue with these methods is that you have no trough hole plating with copper. You need to solder bot sides of a through hole component and you need to use short strands of wire to make vias. I think that's perfectly o.k. for a one of a kind board for a hobbyist, but not for commercial purposes.

Yep, I can't seem them getting any more than 2 layers without some crazy sandwiching technique, but 2 layers is probably good enough for prototyping most basic things. I wonder how reliable they are, as I've found limited reviews online.

I found these nice little copper rivets that people have been using as vias, which look like they'd be a good option to manually drop in to place before reflowing the first side. I've never used them though, but may buy a small bag to test out.

I have been looking at this. It sounds pretty good to me. There are so many boards I haven't made because it is just too much effort, and I have never achieved better than about 75% success rate with any of the methods I have used The thought of having one tool that makes the board and does the reflow soldering is quite appealing. If it were half the price ($2000) I might have already bought it.

The initial kickstarter was selling them for $1,199, so someone got a good deal :D. I was surprised to find that the base package doesn't include a drill tool, I would have thought that would be an essential part.
 

Arouse1973

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I came across these guys and I have used the equipment. It's not as good looking as the one Ian mentioned but it does a good job. https://cirqoid.com/

Thanks
Adam
 
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Hopup

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I wonder how long do the drill parts last for PCB use generally?
 

(*steve*)

¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
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I like the cirqoid :)

The pick and place looks a bit micky mouse, and I'd probably investigate using the device to make a solder stencil rather than lay down paste pad by pad like that.

It's still a pretty expensive tool though.

But I want one! :)
 
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