Changing the World of PCB Rapid Prototyping


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Tony Tung 2.JPG

Tung: Yes.

Matties: Now you're eliminating all the jumper wires, all the soldering that people might do, and it reduces the cycle time substantially. In terms of the design that you're actually printing, what sort of software do you use to print that design?

Tung: We use Fritzing, which is a circuit design tool used especially for breadboards. We built a plug-in for Fritzing, so you can download the breadboard schematic and then it will automatically transform into the printed circuit paper layout.

Matties: And you’re printing this out of a standard printer, an Epson or a Brother, which you can get at a local office supply store. Then you're using a conductive ink on the paper, which is also a standard ink that you can purchase?

Tung: Yes.

Matties: Is the paper standard, as well?

Tung: It's a photo paper, because this type of conductive ink only works on photo paper.

Matties: Once it's printed, you lay it on top of the grid, and your circuits make the connections between the components. If you need to make an edit or a quick change, can you just go in and modify your design, re-print it, and put it back in?Tony Tung 4.JPG

Tung: Yes, and you can also just use jump wires.

Matties: It’s still possible to jump if you want, but you start with the basics. How much time do you think it saves on a job?

Tung: It depends on the circuit you design.

Matties: Let's say a job that would normally take a half-hour with the breadboard design, how much time would it take on your system?

Tung: If you can find the circuit online, you just need five minutes.

Matties: And if you have to design the circuit?

Tung: If you have to design the circuit, it depends on how familiar you are with the software.

Matties: If you're a designer, you can design it pretty quickly though, because you’ll pull from a tools library and put that in. This is very clever. Congratulations.

Tung: Thank you.

Matties: What's the intent with your product? Are you going to commercialize this and put it on the market?

Tung: We're thinking about it, maybe open source.

Matties: What about the clamshell case that you have? Is that something people will open source, or is that something they'll buy from you?

Tung: We open source the plastic case right now. We put it on Thingiverse, the platform that you can use to download 3D models.

Matties: Do you print this on your 3D printer?

Tung: Yes, the plastic.

Matties: Where do you get the rigid circuit board that’s inside?

Tung: We need to send the design to the factory.

Matties: The factory produces that, so someone who prints this would still have to purchase the circuit board?

Tung: Yes, or we will design the circuit board, so they can just order it.

Matties: So, the only real cost would be the circuit board?

Tung: Yes.

Matties: Nice. Congratulations. You guys are changing the world. Thank you so much. I appreciate your time today.

Tung: Thank you.

 

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