PulsarProFX

Manufacturing Services in the areas of:

Electronics:
Printed circuit board fabrication by proprietary developmental products

Graphic Arts:
Dry-transfer graphics fabrication by proprietary developemental products

Radio Control (R/C):
Electronic and mechanical products for fixed & rotary wing aircraft, land and water vehicle operations by proprientary developmental products.

 

How PULSAR ProFX Got Started

[First off... that's not our our building!] I launched a small business in 1988 under the name "DynaArt Designs" in the high-desert of Southern California as a Graphic Art Design studio. It was a 1-man operation.

In 1992, a new client hired me to create a 4-color magazine ad for a high-end "Southern Living" rag. When the job was finished, he invited me to tour his facilities, showing me exactly what was involved in doing what he did. It was a very long day and I was in no mood to want to do this, but to keep a good relationship on par, I said, "I'd love to see it"! I tried to look interested in what he was showing me. I really was trying.

To show you seemingly innocuous happenings twist and turn effects our lives, an important event happened at this exact moment to change my entire future. The owner's light manufacturing operation revolved around silk-screening ornate graphic images onto unfired fine LaMosch porcelin. This was done by a 4-color silkscreening process onto a special type of paper followed by an overcoat type of paint that covered every part of the color image. When they were ready for a production run, the printed paper was put in water. About 1 minute later, the image released from the paper, slightly floating over the paper all on its own... reminiscent of the old "water-slide" decals you'd find in plastic models. The image was then slid off the paper and onto the porcelin. When dry, they fired the piece in a kiln. The high heat burned off that 'carrier' that covered the silkscreened image leaving the colors to fire into the porcelin. All of a sudden a little light went off in side my little pea-brain and I had to ask him if I could have a few sheet of this paper. I had an ideaI I had to try immediately!

Now, at that time (1992), most everyone in electronics, (pure hobbyist through "midnight engineer") knew that "toner" would make for an excellent "etch resist" because it was mostly plastic - a natural resistant to all copper etchants. If only we could get a printout of circuit designs from the laser printer to be able to put on a copper board. Laser printers at the time had proven themselves as a fantastic printing product in 4 short years (even though they were only at 300dpi). My head was asking, "Could this paper be fed through a laser printer without damaging my $5,000 (!) Apple LaserWriter printer in order to capture a circuit image and then transfer the image to a copper board using the heat from an iron. The important point was that the paper, when wet, would result in a zero-friction separation between toner image and copper board. At the time, there was a "product" (I say that with all due respect) already on the market that you ran through a laser printer. It was a silicon treated acetate type sheet. The problem with it was when you peeled away the sheet, the toner that was re-fused to the copper board really didn't know which surface it wanted to stay on. Most attempts resulted in a damaged traces. This of course is akin to being a 'little-bit pregnant'! So, one would try it over and over again until a successful image was had. Also, a little after this time, a second product hit the market called "Press 'n Peel" which is still alive and living today. So to make a short story very long, my technique was a great improvement on the prior two methods because there was no "ripping off" the carrier sheet! It was a frictionless transfer of the delicate toner image. This started changing my business plan immediately!

So back to the story... I sped home with it, blindly stuck it in the manual feed tray and printed a blank page. I hoped nothing bad would happen. The paper processed through the printer as I crossed my fingers. It jammed due to it's very heavy weight (thickness) but I was able to help it get through the printer. I was floating with excitement!

The then printed an image and it came out looking like it had printed to regular paper. I laid the image over a piece of cleaned copper circuit board, then placed the hot iron over the back of the paper. I was hoping the heat would make the toner re-fuse to the copper surface. After a few minutes of ironing the back of the paper, I put both the board and the paper into a tray of water and waited with extreme anticipation for the result. As I stared at the board for what seemed like an eternity, the paper finally slid away from the board and it worked! The black toner image was "fused" to the copper surface! I said, "This is it... this was a marketable product better than the prior two."

I started working on developing the "techniques" to make this trick work all of the time. I worked at night writing and designing a product cover, looking for vendors for this special "magic" paper as well as developing an entirely new business plan. One of the big hurdles to get over was to obtain a lighter basis-weight paper from a paper-converter company that would believe in me to experiment with some lighter weight papers for testing. The ideal paper was created and the entire process to formulate this new business only took about three months from start to finish. I was well on my way.

How The Business Grew:

I discovered the "power of the pen" and was amazed at how well it works in the freelance writer magazine world. There aren't many things in life that are a 4-way "win/win/win/win" situation. The most you ever hear about is "win/win". The 4-way win is started by sending your product out to as many magazine editors you can find that would be relevant to the product. I was after free publicity for two reasons: they're free (!) and the reader gets a favorable unbiased look at the new product as opposed to an avertisment. The whole process starts with an enclosed letter to the editor asking him to forward this sample product to one of his freelance writers... that's all you have to do to get the ball rolling! Here's how everybody wins. It's great....

1) The freelance WRITER gets paid for his article about something new he/she discovers

2) The EDITOR wants articles that will make his magazine sell - these 2 go hand-in-hand.

3) The READER is made aware of a new product and has to have one

4) The MANUFACTURER (me) gets incredible coverage for free

Another interesting thing I did was to ensure "total customer satisfaction". A practice I learned from the late Charles Tandy (Radio Shack). He used to say to us young, pimple-faced, store manager kids back in the early 70's, (yes, I was a Radio Shack Manager!)..."If a customer knows his money is not at risk, he'll buy with confidence knowing he can return it if he doesn't like it... and he'll come back to buy again. Always accept refunds and returns without petty restocking fees". A philosophy way ahead of it's time.

Latest Developments:

Up to just a short time ago, we were strictly an electronics oriented business, catering to hobbyist, the "midnight engineer", prototype PCB professional and higher education. Over the years we've always asked our customers for their ideas for other uses for this paper. We compensated every good idea with free pack of our "Toner Transfer Paper". We just kept collecting ideas. In early 2003 I started a major project to create a method for making real 'dry-transfer' graphics. All in all, it took 2 years to perfect. We have finally broken the code on how to convert regular old black toner into white & 12 shades of real metallic and full color transfers using a color laser or color copier all without any "carrier" or overcoat spray. True "dry-transfer" images in 8 minutes.. something that has never been done before!

And that's where we stand today!

Frank Miller
Owner & CBW