There are 4 "user categories" that use our process/technique:
Educational (high schools / colleges / ACTE, etc.)
1. ADVANCED HOBBYISTS:
We understand the entry-level hobbyist's mantra... "Don't spend anything more then absolutely necessary!" We would assume that if you are reading up on our system, you are a beyond that or an advanced hobbyist and looking for a good way to make inexpensive PCBs. You've come to the right place. We realize the "montra" above still holds true whenever possible, but you know you do need certain products to get where you're headed. You will need the PCB "Fab-In-A-Box" kit but possibly you can squeek by without the expense of the laminator we call the Toner Image Applicator or "TIA". There are some tricks that you can use to get good transfers to your boards but the trade-off is more time and labor is expended and some waste due to occasional bad transfers when an iron is used in lieu of the "TIA" applicator.
Another possible limitation is the assumption that you have a laser printer. Many within this group do not. This is where time comes in... to drive down to the local "copy shop" to have a good reproduction made to the transfer medium in the kit. Part of the trick here is to use a well maintained copier. The problem is, you really don't know if it is. We have some "tests" that you can perform to try to reduce the chances of waste located in the "Tech Support" area. With these more advanced boards, you are moving quickly into the next more serious category of user; the Midnight Engineer.
2. MIDNIGHT ENGINEERS:
With higher complexity board design comes the need to have a more controlled heat and pressure device. Here, the TIA becomes absolutly necessary in order to achieve fine trace pitch and overall sharpness when dealing with SMT components, etc. "M/E" is normally referred to those who are developing new products for the market with the proverbial "one foot in your day-job" and the other working late hours at home developing new ideas. You need to make prototype circuit boards in a reliable and low cost manner. Money is tight so sending boards out to be fabricated is an expense you really don't want to do. Our system is the answer for your single and double-sided boards up to 8"x10" and traces down to .005". This gives you traces and trace pitch fine enough to handle all of your "SMT" layouts.
3. PROFESSIONAL "R&D" ENGINEERS:
"Time is money"! Sure your budget may provide the funds for expensive 24 hour board fabrication turn-arounds, but why in the world would you, when you can make your own prototypes in under 10 minutes? Even "overnight" service is still a lot of waiting! You don't get your board the next day... "overnight" only means 1 day to make the board. It still has to be shipped back to you for another day of waiting. This is dumb! Our system provides you the flexibility of making circuit changes "on the fly"... something you simply can't get anywhere else in the world. When money is not an issue, time wasted is! A lot of big name companies have put our inexpensive system in their R&D departments for improved developmental efficiency (3M, AMP, B.F.Goodrich, Motorola, NBC and Phillips Semiconductor, just to name a few). They've made the switch to "instant PCB" and quite franky love the time saved. So stop wasting money sending out for single and double-sided boards and check out the advantages and quality you can get with our process. It basically pays for itself after just one "overnight" job!
4. EDUCATIONAL: High Schools, Colleges/Universities & ACTE:
For the first time ever, educational institutions can now go beyond theory on a chalk board to give students real 'hands-on' board fabrication for assigned lab work. Fabricating circuits they just learned about or designed themselves as they progress through their EE degree. It's catching on... Louisiana State, MIT, Cal Tech, Georgia Tech, Stanford and Univ of Texas to name drop just a few. Give your students the experience they need to completely round out their EE degree and as an added bonus, it makes learning how a board is made a bit on the fun side when they can do it themselves. Our simple system gives professors tremendous capability that they've never had before. Give us a call, tell us what your plans are and we can give you our suggestions as to what other schools have done.