2015 International winner, Voltera V-One, were a group of Canadian students whose invention allowed for fast and cheap prototyping of printed circuit boards.
Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are the electronic paths on an insulated surface that help power appliances such as smartphones, biomedical devices, and other electronic technologies. To research and develop new electronics, it is vital for engineers, inventors, and students working in this area to be able to prototype PCBs cheaply and quickly. But this process tends to be time consuming and expensive. All too often circuit board designs must be sent to a factory for printing, only for the whole process to be repeated as soon as even a minor change is required.
Voltera V-One, solved this problem by using the same rapid prototyping principles that underpin 3D printing to turn design files into prototype boards in minutes. The team of University Waterloo students designed the laptop-sized PCB printer, which is similar in many ways to the compact, additive manufacturing design of desktop 3D printers. The Voltera V-One lays down conductive and insulating inks to create a functional, 2-layer circuit board. It’s also a solder paste dispenser, allowing components to be added to the board and reflowed by a 550w heater. Since winning the James Dyson Award the team has continued to expand Voltera V-One into a successful and profitable company today.
To learn more about Voltera V-One please visit their website here.