Our top picks for electronics designers at PCBWest 2017
1 – Rapid prototyping for rigid and flexible PCBs with BotFactory
For those looking to quickly and cost-effectively prototype a new idea, BotFactory supplies a desktop PCB printer that allows engineers to fabricate multi-layer, rigid or flexible PCBs in under an hour, and for less than $5. The BotFactory Squink also provides the ability to apply solder paste and then pick-and-place parts onto the newly created rigid or flexible PCB. The BotFactory Squink is a true PCB “printer” that uses inkjet technology to deposit conductive traces and insulating layers to print fully functional, multi-layer PCBs.
2 – The Nano Dimensions 3D printer
This product was pointed out to us by Jose Espina of Vishay, and we have to agree that the DragonFly 2020 is quite the machine. It manufactures professional, multi-layer PCBs in just a few hours with traces as small as 100 µm, and layer thicknesses as low as 3 µms. It’s basically a poly-jet 3D printer that can print multiple materials, including a conductive material for the traces. Beyond the mechanical height of the machine, there is also no limit to the number of layers it can print. Of course, such a machine doesn’t come cheap. It is priced at $250,000.