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How to Sell a PCB Printer to Your Boss

Kate Laing
February 1, 2022
Entrepreneurship & product development

Here at Voltera, we know that the majority of people that know that they need a PCB printer (or just a better way to do rapid prototyping) are not always the ones who are holding the purse-strings, or have the ability to say ‘yes’ — even though it’s their life that the V-One will vastly improve!

Sound familiar? This article is for you.

Like everything, choosing to invest in a new tool really comes down to two things: time and money. If you can make a good case to the powers-that-be for the V-One saving you in either of those areas (or better yet — both!), then you’ll have no problem getting them to open their wallets and sign on the dotted line. So let’s dig into the main reasons why the V-One is a great investment for your organization.

TL;DR — We’re going to talk about the following:

With the V-One — a desktop PCB printer — you’ll go from being able to iterate on your circuit design once a week, to once a day. When it comes to bringing a new product to market, testing a breakout board design, or publishing groundbreaking research, days and weeks can really matter.

How to pitch it to your boss:

“In the past six months, we spent six weeks waiting to get our boards back.”

All-in-One Product

Because the V-One is a PCB printer that’s small enough to fit on your desktop, you won’t have to reorganize your lab around the footprint of a major machine. The V-One is able to print your traces and pads, dispense solder paste (so you won’t need stencils), and reflow all with the same machine. It also comes with pretty much everything you’ll need to print anywhere from 30-80 boards, depending on the complexity.

How to pitch it to your boss:

“We don’t need to clear any floor space, no more paying for stencils — I can print a circuit, dispense solder paste, and reflow all with the same machine.”

Decrease in Time Spent Training on and Maintaining the Machine

The V-One is a plug-and-play PCB printer that needs very little in the way of maintenance. Learning new tools can be time-consuming and frustrating, but the V-One is used by everyone from high-school students to professional engineers in some of the world’s biggest companies (cough NASA, MIT, Stanford cough, cough).

The video tutorials and in-app support, not to mention our amazing support team, means that you’ll be off making circuits, in no time at all. In terms of maintenance, all you need to do is make sure that your heated bed is clear of any conductive ink, and that your probing surfaces are clean! A little isopropyl alcohol, a lint-free wipe, and you’re good to go.

How to pitch it to your boss:

“We plug it in and get printing — no major setup or training required. We also don’t have to spend an hour a week maintaining it like some of the other equipment we have…”

Reduce the Consequences of Design Errors

If you’re someone who can design a board without a single design flaw, or solder components without frying one of them — then you’re better at this game than we’ll ever be! But for us, failure isn’t (and shouldn’t) be fatal — in fact, we see it as a good thing! As long as you fail fast and fail forward. Having a PCB printer on your desktop that allows you to iterate within hours (not weeks) takes the risk out of design errors as you seek to find your product development joy. The added benefit is that you’ll have better design fidelity than when using a breadboard due to the precise dispensing of both the conductive ink and the solder paste!

How to pitch it to your boss:

“We’re going to iterate in hours not days, or weeks. And the only cost we incur is the cost of the ink and the board itself. No more baked-in screen or stencil costs. No minimum order quantity waste!”

Long Shelf Life

Our conductive ink and solder paste cartridges have a long shelf life — twelve and eight months respectively when they’re stored in a 4oC fridge. That means that you’re going to have the ability to use your V-One for multiple projects, which means the ROI on your V-One will be excellent — and fast! You’ll see ROI on your V-One within as little as four months.

How to pitch it to your boss:

“I’m not just going to use this for one project, I can use it for all of our projects. So the cost is amortized over multiple projects and the ROI will be that much faster.”

Reduce the Overall Cost of the Project

Outsourcing the iterations of your board usually means a ton of waste because of MOQs (minimum order quantities) — not to mention the time it will take to get your boards back. You’re paying for five, 10, or 15 boards when you only need one or two! You’re also looking at having to potentially pay for a screen per iteration of your board. None of that even addresses having to pay for the solder paste stencils and storing all of them, either.

How to pitch it to your boss:

“This machine is going to save us time and money. We’re going to get across the finish line faster, with less money spent getting from idea to proof of concept.”

Well, there you have it, folks! There are the reasons why the V-One would be an excellent addition to your workflow as your go-to PCB printer. If you’re looking for something that you can actually send to the powers-that-be, feel free to download this quick breakdown to share. Better yet, you can always reach out to one of our Application Specialists to arrange a meeting with you and anyone on your team who might be invested in the addition of the V-One to your workspace.

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