Building hardware is hard, but Voltera makes it easy
In 140 characters or less, Co-founder Alroy Almeida describes Voltera as a desktop circuit board printer that helps build hardware faster. Despite the modest description, the startup is taking the world by storm, currently shipping their invention to over 60 countries. A unique product, the Voltera V-One saves designers time and money, and unlike most circuit board printing devices, it is only the size of a laptop. Alroy explained to us that their idea started, as many do, from an inconvenience.
While choosing a Capstone Design project to finish off their engineering degrees at the University of Waterloo, all four co-founders agreed that circuit board prototyping took way too long. One circuit board could take upwards of 2-3 weeks to arrive and was a bottleneck for innovation in the hardware sector. In 2013 they began their project, and afterward pitched it at the Velocity Fund Finals, winning $25K in funding, and full-time workspace in the Velocity Garage startup incubator in downtown Kitchener once their final exams finished.
“During that first year, the four of us spent many long nights in the Garage as we attempted to build a product to hit performance benchmarks that industry experts told us was impossible.” – Alroy Almeida, Co-founder of Voltera
With several years spent scaling in the Garage, Voltera is actively innovating the face of hardware design. Their 3 axis machine can fit on a desk and is equipped with a heated platform to cure conductive ink and reflow solder paste. All of its attachments are magnetically mounted, and their intuitive software guides users through each step. From start to finish, a user can print a design in less than one hour.
Now that they’ve launched from the Velocity Garage and are in an office space of their own, the team will continue to advance the modernization of manufacturing. Alroy argues that the largest problems within the manufacturing industry currently are that it suffers from inefficient processes, miscommunication, incomplete sets of prototyping tools, isolated development environments, and too much red tape.
“Fortunately, there are many new businesses tackling these problems as well from different angles – ours happens to be starting with the circuit board prototyping problem.”