Desktop Circuit Makers

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Definition

Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman:

"PERSONAL CIRCUIT MAKERS FABRICATE MULTILAYER PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS ON YOUR DESKTOP, WITHOUT THE TRADITIONAL CHEMICAL-INTENSIVE INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES, EITHER BY MILLING OR SPRAYING CONDUCTIVE TRACES." (http://web.mae.cornell.edu/lipson/FactoryAtHome.pdf)


Description

Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman:

"At-home manufacture of circuit boards is a rapidly emerging application for hobbyists and electronic designers.

Desktop circuit makers offer a clean alternative to traditional chemical-based processes, making them an appropriate tool for the classroom, lab or home.

PCB makers are a catalyst for the emergence of an open source hardware movement. A small but enthusiastic user community of hobbyists exchange open source hardware blueprints and are developing an open source hardware license."" (http://web.mae.cornell.edu/lipson/FactoryAtHome.pdf)

How-To

Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman:

"Personal scale PCB milling machines use one of two processes, a mechanical etching process, or a process in which conductive materials are sprayed onto a base board. The mechanical etching process on a desktop circuit maker involves a rotating milling bit that mechanically etches out the desired circuit design onto a copper circuit board. Both etching and spraying techniques enable users to create multi-layer and finely detailed PCBs." (http://web.mae.cornell.edu/lipson/FactoryAtHome.pdf)


Advantages/Disadvantages

Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman:

While small-scale circuit makers are relatively low cost and versatile, they are, like most other personal fabrication technologies, too slow for large batch production. As a result, most users are hobbyists and students." (http://web.mae.cornell.edu/lipson/FactoryAtHome.pdf)


More Information