Prometheus: Circuit Boards in Minutes

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

Prometheus makes real circuit boards in just minutes. When we’re prototyping, we need a tool that can give us nearly instant feedback – not feedback that comes in a few week’s time in the form of a PCB delivery. Let the PCB manufacturers make the hundreds or thousands of boards for your production run – not your prototypes. If production is your goal, Prometheus will help get you there faster.

Prometheus works by carving through the copper layer of a standard copper-clad board (FR-4 or FR-1). It can be thought of as mechanically etching the board as opposed to dealing with chemicals to perform the etching. Prometheus can also drill holes and route the shape of the board itself if you need it to fit a specific enclosure.

The most unique mechanical part of Prometheus is the custom-designed spindle. This spindle’s incredible specs set it apart – 45,000 RPM and a static Total Indicated Runout (TIR) of less than 2.5 microns (.0001 inches), measured 10 mm below the spindle bearing. TIR is important because it determines the minimum bit diameter we can run. Too much runout (wobble) and a micro end mill will just snap instead of milling copper as intended. Prometheus can reliably run bits as small as .007 inches in diameter, so you can use – with few exceptions – any surface mount components in your designs – not just “giant” SOIC packages. This is a major differentiator with what’s available in our price class today. Our specs bring Prometheus close to the level of the other “professional grade” machines out there that cost more than $8,000 (and in some ways, Prometheus even surpasses them).

Circuit Factory Design Software

The primary purpose of PCB software is to help you create a picture of the copper layout. Making that picture with the free tools available can be painful. We need a machine that is a pleasure to use. Great software is key! We made our own software called Circuit Factory that makes designing a PCB easy so you can try your ideas out quickly, and it works seamlessly with Prometheus.

No other manufacturer makes a PCB milling machine and the design software to go with it. Once you’ve made your design with Circuit Factory, just click carve and Prometheus will make your circuit board.

Circuit Factory is just meant to provide another option for beginners. If you’re already comfortable using other EDA software, you’ll be able to import your Gerber files for carving. Gerber import software is scheduled to be release with the first batch of Prometheus machines.

Partnership with Upverter

We recommend Upverter as the professional EDA tool of choice for electrical engineers using Prometheus. We’ve entered into a partnership with Upverter to provide an exclusive FREE Upverter account to Prometheus users which will allow additional private projects at no extra cost.

Upverter is the leader in cloud based EDA solutions, empowering electrical engineers to design the next generation of hardware and electronics. Some of Upverter’s clients are building drones, medical devices, augmented reality glasses and IoT devices. Having recently relaunched and upgraded the tool, their main focus is the addition of the Parts Concierge; the world’s first virtual assistant to engineers. With the Upverter Parts Concierge now every hardware engineer has their own team of engineering assistants.

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