Found this cool Kickstarter thing: Prometheus: Circuit Boards in Minutes

Prometheus is Not a 3D printer - it quickly carves, drills, and shapes your PCB so you don’t have to wait for a delivery truck.


Prometheus (the Titan) gave us our first fire. I hope that name didn’t arise during testing.


Its funny because we know what you mean.

This system like all the others wont give us Plated through hole vias. So his statement about real circuit boards has to be qualified in that context.

@ Mr. John Smith - Neither it will give us silkscreens and solder mask. But given the turnaround time, I’d love to see such machine on my desk, especially when one can easily buy those:

Machine is nice, but the weakest point is the software, IMO. [em]Another[/em] PCB layout program? No thanks…

Not really new…
I know this system [url][/url] now for decades. A look into lpkf’s history shows a patent from 1975 !

@ Lutz1 - Yeah, nice device, we had it, but the price is ~$7000 for a [em]used [/em]machine.

LPKF is the reference for sure, but for this “maker”/“cheaper” target audience its all about repeatability, and this looks to have some good quality traits that should be good - but probably long term would be the only way to tell what it’s performance is really like. The one thing I was surprised about was the software toolchain; I don’t want to have to learn a new tool that’s proprietary for the prototypes, so I’m glad I can just import a gerber and move on (although I don’t know much about gerbers or how “standard” they really are, or if that opens up to a completely different type of compatibility problem)

In the lower-end market you can get less precision and repeatability (but also increased flexibility) by buying a cheap CNC which is more than capable. I don’t think this is too dissimilar in price to those options but obviously is tuned for low runout and high accuracy, but sacrifices the flexibility of a full CNC. Trade offs :slight_smile: More tools to do all the jobs well, or less tools but less capability when you share the jobs.

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@ Brett - gerbers are surprisingly pretty “standard” and compatible stuff.

But developing another PCB toolchain?.. What a waste of man-years, given the amount of work needed :frowning:

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Indeed. I’ll bet that the dude spend most of those 2 years writing PCB design software. When all he needed to do was write a tutorial for one or more pieces of design software. Also the IPC-2581 will replace the array of gerber files now in use to define boards. That seems to be what the industry is heading to, and I’m glad.