The IDTechEx Show is where innovators go to discuss and learn about emerging technologies like printed electronics, electric vehicles, photonics, RFID, and wearables. We got challenged by a show attendee to print a circuit on the spot. Challenge accepted. Challenge won.
Circuit Launch is a community organization for hardware entrepreneurs in California's Bay Area. They have tools, space, educational programs and mentors to help entrepreneurs build cool products. They also have a V-One on their lab bench, pushing members to build hardware faster.
The V-One lets you create working prototypes without the hassle or cost of outsourcing PCB fabrication.
No design is perfect but when you can create more versions in a shorter period of time, you’re going to get close. The V-One is your best bet for rapidly iterating on full boards or circuit modules.
The V-One’s software feels more like an app on your phone than traditional CAM software. It takes Gerber files and turns them into instructions for the machine to print conductive tracks or dispense solder paste.
It's very quick! A simple board like the Hello World will take about 5 minutes to print, 30 minutes to bake (the ink needs to be dried), and depending on how fast you place your components about 30 minutes to dispense solder paste and reflow.
You can comfortably make a simple single layer board in two to three hours.
Yes! The V-One comes with a drill attachment.
The V-One Drill makes double sided boards easy to create and comes with all the drill bits, rivets and other accessories you need to get started. Learn more about it here!
128mm x 116mm (5.0" x 4.5"). Visit our specs page for full product details.
While multi-layer additive electronics is a dream for Voltera, and we're working hard to enable this functionality, currently we only support 2 layer boards.
The V-One currently does not have an integrated pick-and-place, so components must be placed by hand. The V-One has been designed to be a prototyping tool. At these volumes setting up a pick and place machine can take more time and effort than manual placement.
The V-One only drills the substrate - meaning, you can create a hole through your substrate which is the same size as the drill bit you select. The V-One does not support routing or milling.
The maximum board thickness for the V-One clamps is 3mm. Check our our full tool spec to learn more.
Yes, but only single-sided boards with a maximum height below 7mm, to accomodate the z-axis clearance of the V-One.
We use copper rivets for a couple of reasons. First: structural stability. Having a solid copper sleeve through your board is going to be much sturdier than cured ink. Second: hand soldering. Working with copper rivets allows for a nice solid metal surface to solder to, making hand soldering much easier.
Absolutely. Just keep in mind that this will throttle your access to the in-app support chat and automatic updates for your printer.
Simply put, because solder paste is much more forgiving than conductive ink. Solder paste tends to be drawn to the components during the reflow process so we can reliably dispense on smaller pads.
Your mileage may vary, and you're definitely in adventure mode. Much of custom ink printing is trial and error, and dependent on the material properties of your custom formulation, so accuracy and reliability are impossible to promise. In very general terms, materials that you can screen print are the best place to start, but we can't guarantee that something will or won't work. Many of our power users do dispense custom inks, so if you have questions about specific materials reach out to Voltera using the in-app support chat and we'll help you through it.
The bulk resistivity of our ink is 9.5E-7 Ohms.m and the sheet resistance under typical conditions is 12 mOhms/sq. It is among the best conductive inks on the market. While it is not as conductive as copper, it is capable of handling almost all digital and analog applications.
An 8 month research partnership with the University of Alberta demonstrated the ink will perform on par with standard copper up to 5 GHz!
To learn about conductivity considerations, visit this article in our support docs.
We can dispense solder paste down to 0402 components and although we officially support a 0.5 mm pin to pin pitch, some of our users have dispensed on 0.4 mm pitch IC's without difficulty. We have also dispensed on BGA components reliably.
The Voltera software allows you to use whatever CAD tool you are already comfortable with! You can use EAGLE, Altium, KiCad, Mentor Graphics, Cadence, DipTrace and more! Just export your designs as Gerbers and upload to our software. Easy as that!
A single ink cartridge will allow you to print up to 85 Hello World boards. This also equates to 100 m of conductive trace at 8 mil width, or 200 cm2 of solid pour. The number of boards you are able to print will depend on size and complexity of the circuits you are building.
The ink cartridge has an official shelf life of 12 months and should be stored in the refrigerator when not used.
A single solder paste cartridge will allow you to dispense up to 11,000 0603 solder pads.
The solder paste cartridge has an official shelf life of 8 months and should be stored in the refrigerator when not used.
Once you tell the software where the board is mounted, the V-One will take about 5-10 minutes to dispense paste.
Components need to be placed by hand, but once they are placed, reflowing the board only takes about 2 or 3 minutes.
"The V-One absolutely rocks! It’s like a tiny little piece of magic. I feel like a kid with a new toy every time I use it. I love it!"
"Thanks so much... The V-One has really been a game changer for us. We are experimenting with concepts we never thought were possible before. This little machine has opened up a portal of possibilities in our research."
"I've never had a better and fast customer experience in my life! Amazing response time and clear and concise instructions. Also the built in support chat app is 10/10!"
"Awesome - as always. I wish all my tech support interactions with other companies went as well as they do with Mike @ Voltera."
"Always has the answers or works towards improving methods. Great support!"
"We were getting very fed up with screen printing. The stencils cost as much as the PCBs and come with even longer wait times, not to mention the storage issue - they were literally taking up a quarter of my office at one point.... When I heard about the V-One I thought it was too good to be true, just dispense solder paste without a stencil and no down time? It works just as promised... we are populating boards quickly and now I can get to having my office space back for you know... working!"
"Being a Hardware R&D group, your concept can really open new dimensions in how we prototype and check things out."
"I want to take the opportunity to thank you guys for having such a great customer support service. Always fast, relevant and helpful answers!"